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Understanding Sensitive Teeth

Have you ever been enjoying an ice cream and felt a sharp pain in your teeth? What about a hot cup of coffee? If you notice that you often feel a sharp, painful sensation in your teeth when tasting cold, hot, sweet or sour foods, you may suffer from teeth sensitivity. This is a problem that can affect one or more teeth.

One thing is for sure, having sensitive gums or teeth is a miserable experience. Even something as simple as doing your regular dental routine can be painful. It also limits the types of foods that you can enjoy. Some individuals might even feel this pain simply by taking a deep breath of cold air.

Thankfully, it’s not something that you’re stuck with your whole life. You can take action to help reduce and even eliminate the pain that you feel from sensitive teeth and gums. The first step is to identify what caused this sensitivity in the first place. After all, most individuals don’t just start having sensitive teeth. Typically, a chipped tooth, receding gums or even aggressive brushing leads you down the path to sensitive teeth.

The best course of action against sensitive teeth is to treat the underlying problem. If you don’t, then your teeth sensitivity will come back time and time again. Visiting your dentist is the best way to determine the cause of tooth sensitivity since there are many different issues that can cause it. After visiting with your dentist, you can come up with a plan that will help you start living sensitivity free.

The Most Common Causes of Tooth and Gum Sensitivity

Since there are a number of issues that can cause tooth and gum sensitivity, it’s best to start by looking at the most common causes of these problems:

  1. Brushing your teeth too hard can quickly wear down your enamel and cause tooth sensitivity. At the same time, if you’re using a toothbrush with hard bristles, it can wear down your tooth enamel.
  2. Eating too many acidic foods is another common cause of tooth and gum sensitivity. This includes citrus fruits and pickles. Most sodas are also high in acidity.
  3. Using mouthwash can make sensitive teeth worse, particularly the ones that contain alcohol. If you want to use a mouthwash, opt for a more neutral rinse. If this doesn’t help, avoid using mouthwash altogether.
  4. Gum disease can cause sensitive teeth because it makes your gums recede. Receding gums expose the roots of your teeth, and these roots are very sensitive.
  5. Grinding your teeth is another common cause of tooth sensitivity. Worse yet, you might not even know that you do it. When you grind your teeth, you not only break down your enamel but also weaken your teeth, which can lead to chips and cracks.
  6. Using too many products that have tooth-whitening ingredients, including mouthwashes, strips, and toothpaste, can exacerbate sensitivity. Instead, stick to products that don’t have whitening ingredients.
  7. If you have old fillings that are breaking down, this can lead to tooth sensitivity. As your fillings break down, they expose sensitive areas of your teeth. This allows bacteria and acid to reach these sensitive spots.
  8. After having dental work done, expect your teeth to be sensitive. This includes procedures like fillings, extractions and root canals.

As you can see, tooth sensitivity is caused by an underlying problem most of the time. That’s why it’s so important to visit your dentist to determine and treat that problem. If you don’t fix it, your sensitivity will come back again and the problem could get worse.

Have Sensitive Teeth and Gums? Here’s What You Can Do

  • Firstly, visit your Philadelphia dentist. A professional can ensure that your oral health is where it’s supposed to be.
  • Next, be consistent with your own dental routine at home. You have to brush at least twice a day and use floss.
  • Make sure that you start using a toothbrush with soft bristles.
    Also, brush your teeth gently.
  • Consider switching from your current toothpaste to one that’s made specifically for sensitive teeth.
  • Use fluoride rinse to strengthen your teeth.
  • If grinding is a problem, ask your dentist about getting a properly fitting mouth guard for nighttime.
  • Lastly, avoid eating as many acidic foods as possible. This involves cutting back on tomatoes, lemons, oranges and similar foods.

Remember that foods aren’t the only things that can cause damage to your teeth. There are many beverages, such as carbonated drinks and wines, that cause enamel erosion as well. If you choose to eat or drink these acidic foods from time to time, drink something to neutralize the acid afterward. Water or milk should do the trick. That said, avoid brushing your teeth directly after eating or drinking these foods because it can lead to further erosion.

Take a Stand Against Your Tooth and Gum Sensitivity

If you’re living with tooth sensitivity, the good news is that you don’t have to anymore. You can take a stand against tooth and gum sensitivity by following these tips:

  1. Invest in toothpaste made for those with sensitive teeth. This is a special type of toothpaste that’s formulated to stop sensitivity. You will start to notice a different right away.
  2. Talk to your dentist about fluoride treatment. Your dentist can apply fluoride to the sensitive spots of your teeth for some centralized strengthening.
  3. If the roots of your teeth are exposed, consider talking to your dentist about what you can do for receding gums. In some cases, you might need to consider a gum graft to re-cover the roots.

Living with tooth and gum sensitivity is something that no one wants to deal with. Thankfully, it’s completely preventable. Dentists always say that pain is an indication that something is wrong. Thus, don’t just live with your tooth pain. When regular oral care isn’t enough, or when your oral care practice is causing your tooth sensitivity, go see your dentist for a checkup. A professional can pinpoint and treat the cause of your tooth sensitivity.

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