Last year, we wrote a blog article detailing the cause of tooth sensitivity and it was a huge success. Now we want to share with you six ways to reduce the pain experienced when one has sensitive teeth. We hope you find these tips useful. Your Ottawa Dentist, Dr. Jaleel is always looking to help your dental needs.
A person with sensitive teeth will often experience discomfort triggered by hot or cold, sweet or sour food and drink. Cold air can also set off the sharp, sudden pain. However, sensitive teeth are not only painful, but they can also begin to interfere with your daily life. Here are six ways to find relief and reduce your tooth sensitivity
1. Try toothpaste made for sensitive teeth
Several brands of toothpaste on the market are designed to help people with sensitive teeth. Some pastes contain an active ingredient called potassium nitrate, which helps to block the tiny tubules in the dentin. They don’t work for everybody, but experts agree it’s usually the best place to start. How you’re using it is important. Lots of times people are using it just for a little bit, and then they stop. But you need to continue to use it.
2. Change the way you brush
If you’re not using a soft toothbrush, if you’re scrubbing your teeth vigorously, or if you’re not brushing for a full two minutes, then you’re not doing any favours for your sensitive teeth. Hard brushing can actually wear away enamel, increasing the sensitivity in your teeth. If you have any recession of your gums or bone loss—and your tooth root is exposed as a result—then you’re also scrubbing at cementum. Cementum is meant to protect the root of the tooth, but wears away even faster than enamel. Changing your brushing habits is really a huge feat. However, it’s change that will definitely pay off.
3. Avoid acidic food and drinks
Exposure to red wine, pop, fruit juices and acidic foods—such as oranges and pickles—can put your enamel under constant attack. Limit these foods and drinks, and try to brush about 20 minutes after eating them (not earlier, or the brushing may hurt your enamel further). Even if your teeth aren’t yet feeling sensitive, it’s a good idea to be cautious about consuming certain foods and drinks, as enamel loss is irreversible.
4. Ask Dr. Jaleel about a paint job
If you’re not having much luck with a desensitizing toothpaste, talk to Dr. Jaleel about painted-on barriers. Desensitizing agents like fluoride varnish or even plastic resins can be applied to the sensitive areas of your teeth. They wear off over time—a few months to a couple of years, depending on what material is used—so they’ll need to be reapplied.
5. Put a stop to tooth grinding
If you’re grinding your teeth when you’re tense, you could be wearing away enamel and giving yourself a sensitivity problem. You may not even realize you’re grinding: Often people only do it while they’re sleeping, but unexplained jaw pain or headaches could be a clue. If you do grind your teeth, try a mouth guard at night, or change your sleeping position. If you notice yourself clenching during the day, remind yourself to relax your jaw with your teeth slightly apart.
6. Treat your receding gums
Normally the root of your tooth is covered up by your gum tissue. But if you have some gum recession, caused by gum disease or even hard brushing, then the root will be exposed and the cementum can be worn away. Your dental care provider may be able to rebuild or restore your receding gums, for example with a treatment involving tissue grafts.