Tooth sensitivity is quite common. It can develop for many reasons, ranging from a receding gum line to postcementation sensitivity after being fitted with fixed partial dentures. While total cures are not always available for tooth sensitivity, there are steps you can take to help reduce the pain.
Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
Understanding the cause of your tooth sensitivity is essential to treating it appropriately. For instance, brushing your teeth too hard can result in some sensitivity. The solution is to hold off on brushing so hard so that the gum tissue has time to repair itself. However, gum recessions such as from periodontal gum disease mean that the root of the tooth becomes exposed and will not heal on its own.
Other reasons for tooth sensitivity are genetics. Some people have a dental history in their family that includes tooth sensitivity without external causes. Additional sources of sensitivity including teeth grinding over the night, excessive plaque build-up, extensive acidic mouth wash usage, and improper use of tooth whitening process can all result in increased tooth sensitivity.
Gum diseases increase tooth sensitivity both at the root and around the teeth.
Some people may find that their teeth are sensitive for a time after routine dental procedures. Root canals, denture fittings, crown placement, tooth restoration, dental implants, and similar processes can result in a temporary sensitivity.
Combat and Prevent Tooth Sensitivity
The best way to handle tooth sensitivity is to provide it. However, most people don’t think about tooth sensitivity until the their teeth start to hurt. Maintaining good oral hygiene is the first and most important step. This will also help you to avoid needing procedures such as teeth restorations and dental implants.
Once you do find that you are struggling with tooth sensitivity, you need to make some changes. First, make sure that you are using a soft bristled toothbrush. Hard bristled tooth brushes can lead to increased abrasion against your tooth surface and against your gums. This increases the irritation, and it may even remove the gum tissue and tooth covering. You may also need to use a desensitizing toothpaste to help combat sharp pain. If you do not use desensitizing toothpaste, you will at least want to avoid using tooth whitening products unless your dentist approves.
The dentin exposure is one of the primary sources of pain. To help prevent further erosion and exposure, you need to avoid eating highly acidic foods and drinking acidic beverages. This means nothing with carbonation or extremely high sugar content. Acidic foods like tomatoes, pickles, vinegar, and the like should also be avoided.
If you have a teeth grinding problem, then you need to contact your dentist. The damage may require oral surgery and perhaps even dental implants, depending on the severity of the damage.
After all of this, you need to make sure that you see your dentist regularly. Some individuals who struggle with teeth sensitivity have to go to the dentist every three to four months to ensure that procedures are happening with the required regularity and that the sensitivity is not worsening.