What is tooth sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is a common condition that causes pain or discomfort in the teeth when exposed to certain stimuli, such as hot, cold, sweet, or sour foods and drinks. It can also be caused by brushing your teeth too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush.
What are the symptoms of tooth sensitivity?
The most common symptom of tooth sensitivity is pain or discomfort in the teeth when exposed to certain stimuli. This pain can be sharp, shooting, or throbbing. It can also be a dull ache or tingling sensation.
Other symptoms of tooth sensitivity include:
- Pain when biting down on hard foods
- Pain when brushing or flossing
- Pain when breathing in cold air
- Pain when drinking cold liquids
What are the causes of tooth sensitivity?
The most common cause of tooth sensitivity is worn-down tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is the hard outer layer of your teeth that protects them from the elements. When tooth enamel is worn down, it exposes the dentin layer of your teeth. Dentin is a softer layer of your teeth that contains tiny tubules that lead to the nerves in your teeth. When the dentin tubules are exposed, they can transmit sensations of heat, cold, and other stimuli to the nerves in your teeth, causing sensitivity.
Other causes of tooth sensitivity include:
- Receding gums: When your gums recede, the roots of your teeth become exposed. The roots of your teeth are covered in cementum, a thin layer of tissue that is not as protective as tooth enamel. This can make your teeth more sensitive to hot, cold, and other stimuli.
- Cracked or chipped teeth: Cracks or chips in your teeth can expose the dentin layer of your teeth, making them more sensitive.
- Dental fillings: New dental fillings can sometimes cause tooth sensitivity. This is usually temporary and goes away within a few weeks.
- Teeth whitening treatments: Teeth whitening treatments can sometimes cause tooth sensitivity. This is also usually temporary and goes away within a few weeks.
How can I prevent tooth sensitivity?
There are a number of things you can do to prevent tooth sensitivity, including:
- Brush your teeth gently: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush your teeth gently for two minutes, twice a day.
- Avoid brushing your teeth too hard: Brushing your teeth too hard can wear away tooth enamel and lead to tooth sensitivity.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste: Fluoride toothpaste helps to strengthen tooth enamel and make teeth less sensitive.
- Avoid acidic foods and drinks: Acidic foods and drinks can erode tooth enamel and lead to tooth sensitivity.
- See your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings: Your dentist can identify early signs of tooth sensitivity and recommend preventive measures.
How can I treat tooth sensitivity?
There are a number of things you can do to treat tooth sensitivity, including:
- Use a desensitizing toothpaste: Desensitizing toothpastes contain ingredients that help to block the dentin tubules and reduce sensitivity.
- Use a fluoride gel: Fluoride gel can help to strengthen tooth enamel and make teeth less sensitive.
- Avoid hot, cold, sweet, and sour foods and beverages: If you have tooth sensitivity, it is best to avoid foods and beverages that can trigger your sensitivity.
- See your dentist: Your dentist can perform a number of procedures to treat tooth sensitivity, such as applying a fluoride gel to your teeth or bonding a sealant to your teeth to block the dentin tubules.
What are some home remedies for tooth sensitivity?
There are a number of home remedies that may help to relieve tooth sensitivity. These include:
- Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water: Salt water can help to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Applying a cold compress to your cheek: A cold compress can help to numb the pain and reduce inflammation.
- Using a toothpaste that contains clove oil: Clove oil has natural anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Eating soft foods: Avoid eating hard or crunchy foods that can irritate your teeth.
When should I see a dentist for tooth sensitivity?
You should see a dentist for tooth sensitivity if:
- The pain is severe or persistent
- The pain is interfering with your daily life
- You have other symptoms, such as bleeding gums or loose teeth
- You think you may have an underlying medical condition, such as a cracked tooth or gum disease
We can help to diagnose the cause of your tooth sensitivity and recommend the best course of treatment for you!
Contact us today at Sbenati Dentistry to schedule a consultation and let us help you with any of your dental needs. [https://calendly.com/sbenatidentistry/interview]
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