Does your tooth hurt when you eat an ice cream or have the same feeling when you have a cup of coffee? Does it make you say “ouch” when you brush, floss, leaving a temporary pain in your teeth. These are typically the result of sensitive tooth or worn out tooth enamel/root. This sensation can also be caused by other factors, such as a cavity, a cracked/chipped tooth, a recently placed filling or an after effect of dental procedures, such as whitening.
In fact, there are things you can do to lessen tooth sensitivity and improve your oral hygiene. Here is a list of things that can help reduce your chances of tooth sensitivity:
Go easy on your teeth while brushing. If you apply too much force or use hard-bristled toothbrushes then chances are that over a period of time, your tooth may wear down. This usually leaves the microscopic hollow tubes or canals exposed to hot or cold or to acidic or sticky foods, tooth sensitivity and discomfort can be the result. The simplest solution is to switch to a toothbrush with softer bristles and to be gentler while brushing.
Reduce acidic or citrus food. It is always recommended to reduce acidic foods and drinks, such as carbonated drinks, citrus fruits, wine and yogurt — as they can remove small amounts of tooth enamel over time. If you are keen on drinking acidic liquids, then use a straw to limit contact with your teeth. It is also advisable not to brush immediately after eating or drinking acidic substance as it usually soften the enamel, leaving it more prone to erosion.
Get a mouth guard. If you have the habit of grinding then it would be highly recommended to invest in a good quality mouth guard to be used overnight. Even though the teeth are strongest part of the body but the enamel could get damaged with regular grinding making it vulnerable to sensitivity.
Use desensitizing toothpaste. A variety of toothpaste are available in the market to help reduce teeth sensitivity. You can use these toothpaste twice a day to brush your teeth. Alternatively your dentist too should be able to advise you on which type of toothpaste would be best for you.
Visit a dentist. Sometimes at home remedies might not be enough to help ease your sensitivity. In such cases a dental check is highly recommended to rule out a gum disease, cracked or chipped tooth, remove excessive plaque and check for any decay around the edges of previous fillings.
* Sensitive teeth. American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/sensitive-teeth. Accessed Oct. 27, 2014.
* Root canals. American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/r/root-canals. Accessed Oct. 27, 2014.
* What causes sensitive teeth, and how can I treat them? http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sensitive-teeth/faq-20057854