Dealing with Tooth Sensitivity At Alaska Dental Arts Muldoon
Tooth sensitivity is a common dental problem that affects many people. It is characterized by a sharp, shooting pain or discomfort in the teeth when exposed to hot or cold temperatures, sweet or acidic foods, or even cold air. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, it is essential to understand the causes and treatments for this condition.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is caused by the exposure of the tooth's inner layers, known as dentin, to external stimuli. The dentin contains microscopic tubules that are filled with tiny nerve endings. When these tubules are exposed, they can be stimulated by hot or cold temperatures, sweet or acidic foods, or even cold air. This stimulation can cause sharp, shooting pain or discomfort in the teeth.
Some common causes of tooth sensitivity include:
- Gum recession: When the gums recede, the tooth's roots can be exposed, leading to sensitivity.
- Enamel erosion: The enamel is the tooth's hard, protective outer layer. The dentin can be exposed when it wears away, leading to sensitivity.
- Tooth decay: Decay can cause cavities that expose the dentin and lead to sensitivity.
- Teeth grinding: Grinding your teeth can wear away the enamel and expose the dentin.
- Teeth whitening: Some whitening products can cause sensitivity by temporarily weakening the enamel.
- Acidic foods and drinks: Consuming too many acidic foods and drinks can erode the enamel and expose the dentin.
How Can You Treat Tooth Sensitivity?
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, several treatments can help reduce your symptoms and improve your oral health.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
One of the best ways to prevent tooth sensitivity is to practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Floss daily to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth. Use an antimicrobial mouthwash to kill bacteria and freshen your breath.
Use a Desensitizing Toothpaste
Desensitizing toothpaste can help block the nerve endings in the dentin and reduce sensitivity. Look for toothpaste containing potassium nitrate or strontium chloride, which can help reduce sensitivity over time.
Get a Fluoride Treatment
Fluoride treatments can help strengthen the enamel and reduce sensitivity. Your dentist can apply a fluoride gel or varnish to your teeth during a dental visit. Alternatively, you can use an over-the-counter fluoride rinse at home.
Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
Using a soft-bristled toothbrush can help prevent further enamel erosion and reduce sensitivity. Brush gently and avoid too much pressure, which can wear away the enamel.
Avoid Acidic Foods and Drinks
Avoid consuming too many acidic foods and drinks, such as citrus fruits, soda, and coffee. If you consume acidic foods or drinks, rinse your mouth with water afterward to help neutralize the acid.
Wear a Mouthguard
Wearing a mouthguard at night can help protect your teeth and reduce sensitivity if you grind your teeth. Talk to your dentist about getting a custom-fitted mouthguard.
Consider Restorative Treatments
If you have severe tooth sensitivity, your dentist may recommend restorative treatments, such as fillings, bonding, or a dental crown. These treatments can help protect the tooth's dentin and reduce sensitivity.
When Should You See a Dentist?
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, seeing a dentist to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan is essential. You should also see a dentist if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Severe or persistent tooth sensitivity
- Swelling or bleeding in the gums
- Pain when biting or chewing
- Loose or shifting teeth
Tips for Preventing Tooth Sensitivity
In addition to the treatments listed above, there are several things you can do to prevent tooth sensitivity from occurring in the first place.
- Brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash to strengthen your teeth
- Floss daily to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth
- Limit your consumption of acidic foods and drinks
- Wear a mouthguard if you grind your teeth
- Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings
No More Tooth Sensitivity in Anchorage, AK
Taking good care of your teeth is vital to keep your smile healthy and pain-free. If you're dealing with tooth sensitivity, it's best to consult a dentist to find out what's causing it and get a treatment plan.
At Alaska Dental Arts Muldoon, Dr. Broc Brimhall and his team are dedicated to providing top-notch dental care to help you achieve your best oral health. Don't let tooth sensitivity hold you back from enjoying life! Call Alaska Dental Arts Muldoon at (907) 865-8488 or visit us here to make an appointment and get started on your journey to a healthy and pain-free smile.