Millions of people of every age have experienced tooth sensitivity. In fact, the discomfort and pain associated with having sensitive teeth can make enjoying many common cold, hot, sweet and acidic foods impossible. However, there are various methods available to relieve tooth sensitivity, as outlined below
Reasons for Tooth Sensitivity
Teeth can become sensitive for a variety of reasons. When there is pain while eating certain foods, the nerves under the dentin layer have usually been exposed. This may occur after the hard outer coating, or enamel above the gum line and root cementum has worn away. This exposes the dentin’s microscopic tubes leading directly into the tooth’s nerve.
Tooth sensitivity can strike at any time. Because the nerves are being directly accessed, any food that is hot, cold, acidic or sweet may cause pain, sometimes excruciating. For example, a small bite of ice cream or a simple sip of coffee could suddenly cause a great deal of discomfort.
There are a number of remedies that can heal or prevent the pain of sensitive teeth, such as:
- Sensitive teeth toothpaste. Toothpaste containing strontium chloride or potassium nitrate is known to fill dentinal tubules that prevent stimulants such as ice water from accessing the nerve.
- Softer toothbrush. When too much pressure is applied to the teeth with a stiff toothbrush, this can cause the dentin to be exposed at the gum line. Using soft bristled tooth brushes can help to alleviate exposure of the dentin.
- Regularly teeth cleaning. Gums will recede when teeth are not regularly cleaned. Plaque and tartar creates bacteria buildup. This releases toxins that cause gums to become irritated, infected and bleed, also exposing the dentin to stimulation.
- Mouth guards for grinding. People who grind their teeth will find that they can crack and spread, exposing the gum line dentin. Those who are prone to grind at night may purchase a mouth guard to wear while sleeping.
- Replace silver fillings. Ask the dentist to replace filings with more modern material to provide better insulation for the teeth. This creates a barrier that will make it more difficult for anything to penetrate through to the nerve.
- Coatings. For unbearable and persistent pain, ask the dentist about having a coating such as fluoride placed on the teeth. There are a number of materials that are suitable to use as a barrier that can greatly reduce tooth sensitivity.
When using the above remedies to address tooth sensitivity, keep in mind that most results are not immediate. Noticeable improvements will probably occur after two to three weeks of starting the chosen remedies.
We can help you determine the cause of tooth sensitivity and recommend a plan to reduce and eliminate your pain. Call us with any questions or concerns you may have. (417) 777-8654
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