If drinking and eating hot or cold foods and drinks causes discomfort or pain in your teeth, most probably you have sensitive teeth. And quite possibly you are not alone. There are many other people who have experienced and continue to experience a sharp pain when doing certain activities correlated with their teeth. It happens when you have a bite of a cookie, take a sip from your morning coffee or while enjoying your ice cream. But what is causing your tooth sensitivity and how to deal with it? In this article, you will find more information regarding these issues. Continue reading to find out more.
EVERYTHING ABOUT SENSITIVE TEETH
What is tooth sensitivity?
The symptoms of sensitive teeth include discomfort or pain when touching the teeth with the tongue, eating sweet things, eating or drinking hot things, eating or drinking cold things.
Types of tooth sensitivity
Pulpal sensitivity may occur when grinding and clenching your teeth or due to a broken or cracked tooth, a recent filling or an infection/decay. The pulp is positioned in the center of a tooth and can be described as a body of nerves and blood vessels, which is quite sensitive. The good news is that this type of tooth sensitivity is more common in a single tooth and it does not spread to the others.
Dental sensitivity, on the other hand, does affect multiple teeth. Its name is derived from the word dentin. A tooth’ middle layer is called dentin. Above it there is cementum and enamel. When the outer layers of the tooth wear away, the dentin is left uncovered and pressure, hot or cold temperature can easily reach the nerve branches of the tooth. What causes the protective layers to wear away? Generally, it can be anything from untreated cavities and poor oral hygiene to frequently eating acidic foods, applying to much pressure when brushing your teeth, a cracked old filling, etc.
If hot and cold drinks and foods make you want to scream with pain, don’t rush to conclusions. Visit a dentist to determine whether it really is tooth sensitivity. It can be another problem.
Your dentist will want to examine your teeth thoroughly to determine the problem. You may need X-rays. Your oral habits will be examined too. The specialist will look for exposed root surfaces, deep fillings and decay.
HOW TO SOOTHE SENSITIVE TEETH
Brush your teeth twice a day
There are various techniques for brushing the teeth that will keep your mouth and teeth clean and fresh. Spend a couple of minutes to brush your teeth (which is about 30 seconds per tooth) and make sure you do not apply too much pressure; otherwise you may harm your gums. You need a 45-degree angle from your gums to the toothbrush. There are three main surfaces you need to reach. First do the outsides, then move to the insides. Finally, clean the biting surfaces. Remember to go back and forth with the brush, not putting too much pressure. Also, brush upside down. The last step is to brush your tongue. Remember: twice a day, two minutes. That’s all you need to know. If you use a power brush, you have to read the instructions because every manufacturer is different.
No matter how good you are at brushing, there still may be food particles between the teeth. Use dental floss to remove any debris left behind by the toothbrush. Flossing helps prevent formation of tartar and cavities as well as remove plaque. Whether you floss after each meal or after you brush, it does not matter as long as you do so regularly. Always floss before you go to bed. Keeping your teeth clean will soothe sensitivity. Oftentimes food that gets stuck between the teeth causes discomfort. Make it a habit to clean and floss your teeth daily and you will reduce discomfort to a minimum. In order to prevent gum injuries, use gentle motions. You need no more about 20 inches of floss to remove food debris from your teeth. Insert the floss into your mouth and slide it between your teeth. Rub gently until you get all the food particles out. Make sure you reach the back teeth. Most decay tends to occur there.
Some people find flossing challenging. No worries. There are a few alternatives to dental floss, such as pre-threaded flossers, dental picks, wooden plaque removers, etc. Experiment until you find the one you feel most comfortable with.
Use a soft-bristled brush
There are three main types of toothbrushes bristles: soft, medium and hard. If you have sensitive teeth, it is recommended you use an extra soft-bristled brush. It is much gentler on gums and is very comfortable. Replace your toothbrush every three months. Sanitize your toothbrush every now and then to keep bacteria away. You can either toss it in the microwave (soak it in water and let it boil for a couple of minutes) or soak it in mouth wash for half an hour. Always let your toothbrush dry well to prevent it from attracting bacteria from the surrounding environment.
Watch your diet
If you have sensitive teeth, you may want to steer clear of acidic drinks and foods. These include tea, pickles tomatoes, olives, winter squash, lentils corn; citrus fruits, cranberries, blueberries, currants; pasta, donuts, biscuits, white rice, white bread, crackers and other processed foods; butter, cheese, cream, yogurt, ice cream and milk. Beverages to avoid: wine, beer and other alcoholic drinks; cocoa, coffee and soda.
Stop grinding your teeth
Clenching or grinding your teeth can damage their surface and leave the dentin exposed, which can cause tooth sensitivity. You can ask your dentist about what measures you should take to eliminate this unhealthy habit. There are several things that help to prevent teeth grinding: using mouth guards, cutting back on caffeine, reducing stress, avoiding alcohol, etc.. Additionally, chew gum whenever you feel like grinding your teeth.
Visit your dentist regularly
Good oral hygiene is important but it is also essential that you make regular trips to your dentist. Generally, you will want to have your teeth examined twice a year or sooner. Consult with your specialist about the frequency of your dental check-ups. He or she will tell you if there is a problem and help you maintain healthy and clean teeth for life.
Follow these tips and you will both soothe your sensitive teeth and achieve better dental health. If you are looking for best orthodontic instruments , visit Dr.Karlheinz Healthcare.
About the Author: Edna Thomson works for CityCleaners SW5. She suffers form sensitive teeth and these tips were given to her from her doctor. Edna found them very helpful and decided to share her experience with the readers.