Tips For Patients With Sensitive Teeth
We’ve all felt the sharp pain of a sensitive tooth. Whether from a cold beverage or a hard food item, the short-lived pain that courses through your head can be startling and excruciating. Lucky for some, this pain is only temporary and subsides after just a few seconds. What about those who suffer from chronic sensitive teeth though?
Physically speaking, this condition occurs when the inner layer of a tooth, or dentin, is exposed. As it becomes exposed, the outside stimuli (cold, heat, sweetness, etc.) have a more direct route to the nerves below, causing pain and discomfort. This can either occur as the outer enamel is weakened or worn away, or if the gum line recedes to expose the dentin behind.
There are various reasons for why this might happen, the most common of which is actually quite ironic. Despite what you might think, brushing harder isn’t necessarily brushing better. Patients who brush too hard can actually push the gums away from the teeth exposing the sensitive dentin behind. Also, using a hard bristled brush can advance the erosion of enamel further. Other dental issues like gum disease and plaque buildup will also attribute to sensitive teeth as the enamel and or gums deteriorate.
Similarly ironic, mouthwash can also lead to sensitive teeth is not used in proper moderation. Some mouthwashes contain harsh acidic chemicals that over time will wear down the outer enamel of teeth. Other acidic foods can produce the same result, and should be eaten in moderation especially as a patient gets older. We recommend that you contact your dentist for his/her suggestions, if you have any concern about sensitive teeth.
Lastly, here are a few things to consider as preventative measures against this unfortunate ailment.
1) Find the right toothbrush.
Soft, non-abrasive bristles that are strong enough to remove plaque.
2) Floss Regularly
You know your dentist is going to ask the next time you have your regular check-up. Wouldn’t it be nice to tell him/her the truth next time?
3) Use a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth
Should you experience sensitive teeth, ask your dentist about what special toothpaste options are available.