An estimated 40 million adults in the United States are currently dealing with sensitive teeth according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). It can be a very painful condition that may be caused by several underlying conditions. Your first step to relief is seeing a dentist near you so they can diagnose the problem and come up with a treatment plan that works.
Symptoms of Sensitive Teeth
If you find that you experience momentary discomfort or pain when consuming foods or liquids that are hot or cold, then you may be faced with sensitive teeth. You may also feel a sharp pain when chewing and pain that will stick around for longer than thirty seconds at a time.
Causes of Sensitive Teeth
Tooth sensitivity also referred to as hypersensitivity, can affect both the tooth as well as any exposed root surfaces in the mouth. When the enamel protecting our teeth begins to get weaker and thin out, it ultimately begins to expose the surface underneath known as the dentin.
Tooth erosion can also cause tooth sensitivity because of all the acidic foods and drinks we consume. Gum recession is another cause that leaves the root surface exposed. Additionally, the sensitivity may be due to brushing too hard with the toothbrush and removing that protective enamel.
Treating Sensitive Teeth
To treat sensitive teeth, you must first see the dentist to diagnose the problem and rule out anything more severe. You always want to adhere to proper dental hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice per day.
Next, strengthening your enamel is important because this is what protects our teeth and is the first line of defense when it comes to other adverse dental conditions. Discuss fluoride toothpaste options with your general dentist.
If you experience a significant amount of pain, you can also use a mouthguard overnight to stop any tooth grinding behavior. The general dentist will be able to properly fit you for a mouthguard if they feel that tooth grinding may be contributing to your sensitive teeth problem.
Finally, chewing sugar-free gum can help increase saliva production in your mouth, and the saliva can help harden your tooth enamel and provide you with that much-needed protection.
If you haven’t already, you should also make your cleaning appointment with your dental hygienist, and they will also be able to offer tips and suggestions on what you can do to take better care of your teeth and gums in between your regular appointments.