Many of us will experience the pain of sensitive teeth at some point in our lives, some are more prone than others. At times the pain is the result of a problem that is easily solved with a quick trip to the dentist, and at other times it is the sign of a more serious problem. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity it is important to mention it to us. We will be able to help determine the cause of your sensitivity and suggest helpful solutions.
- Shrinking gums. As we age our gum line may recede. When this occurs the root of the tooth will be exposed, but the root doesn’t have enamel protecting it; so, it will be more sensitive.
- Gum disease. Gum disease is caused by plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth, which can make your gums recede. This can damage the tooth and lead to pain.
- A cracked tooth. A small crack in the tooth may not be noticed at first, but if it reaches to the root you’ll notice pain. A dentist will advise on the best way to repair the crack, depending on its’ severity.
- A broken or lost filling. A filling may break or fall out because of further decay surrounding it. This will leave the tooth vulnerable and can cause sensitivity. If you know you have a damaged or lost filling, call your dentist as soon as possible.
To Avoid Further Damage:
- Don’t brush too hard. Always use a soft bristle brush and keep it at an angle of 45 degrees.
- Avoid acidic foods and drinks. This includes soft drinks, sticky candy and high sugar carbs.
- Don’t grind your teeth. Teeth grinding can do a lot of damage over the long term. Sometimes grinding occurs due to stress and can be avoided with stress management strategies. If it is a perpetual habit talk with your dentist about a mouth-guard.
- Avoid bleaching. We all like a whiter smile, but in some cases, whitening treatments can cause sensitivity. If you’ve started experiencing sensitivity shortly after beginning a whitening treatment consider stopping treatment and talk to your dentist about other whitening options
- Quit smoking. Smoking can lead to gum disease, which can exasperate sensitivity.
When considering treatment, it is helpful to seek advice from your dentist. Determining the cause of your sensitivity may dictate the kind of treatment needed. No amount of special toothpaste will solve pain caused by an unfilled cavity. But there are things that can be done to help alleviate general sensitivity:
- Brush with toothpastes designed for sensitive teeth. There are several different brands available; your dentist can recommend a brand that is best for you. The key with sensitivity toothpastes is to use them long term, don’t switch back to regular toothpaste when the pain is gone.
- Place the sensitivity toothpaste on a finger and rub it on the painful area. Letting the paste sit on the affected area will give it more time to absorb.
- Change your toothbrush. Make sure you are using a soft-bristled brush and replacing it every 3-4 months. If the bristles look frayed, replace it earlier.
- Talk to your dentist about stronger desensitizing agents that can be professionally applied. Like the toothpastes, these applications are not permanent and may need to be reapplied. But they are stronger and may work better for you if a paste isn’t doing the trick.
If you’re having problems with sensitive teeth, please do not hesitate to call us at 440-354-0705 or click here to make an appointment.