Do you sometimes get the sensation that lightening bolts of pain are striking your teeth whenever you consume cold or got drinks? Then you may have tooth sensitivity.
While it is advisable you see a dentist, there are a number of Simple steps that can help minimize or even stop the sensitivity pain entirely.
Know The Cause Of Your Tooth Sensitivity
It is estimated that one in eight people suffers from tooth hypersensitivity,and if you fall in that category, it’s important to understand why you feel that shock of pain anytime you eat something very hot or cold.
Tooth sensitivity is caused by an exposure of nerve endings, due to the erosion of either the enamel on the top of the tooth or the bone and gum tissue below. The nerve endings are tiny and tube-shaped and they lead back to the main nerve of the tooth, the pulp.
When your teeth are exposed to one of the many factors that can trigger a wave of sensitivity such as cold foods, acidic drinks, or even wind, it irritates the nerve endings and provokes a jolt of pain in the pulp.
Understanding this process can help you figure out which products and techniques might work to reduce or eliminate your pain. Work with your dentist to find solutions to pain that’s very severe.
Use Toothpaste Made For Sensitive Teeth
The first step in managing tooth pain is to switch from a regular toothpaste to one specifically designed for people with sensitive teeth, for between 4 to 8 weeks.
Hyper-sensitivity toothpastes work by filling up the nerve-ending tubules and blocking them from irritation. The best toothpastes for sensitive teeth contain either fluoride, potassium nitrate, or strontium chloride.
They however don’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate, an ingredient in most toothpastes that makes the formula foamy when you brush, but can also irritate sensitive teeth and gums. Switching to specially designed toothpaste completely eliminates the pain for many people with sensitive teeth.
If it doesn’t help enough, speak to your dentist about the possibility of using a prescription toothpaste, which contains more fluoride than everyday drugstore brands.
Guard Against Teeth Grinding
It is estimated that 10 percent of people suffer from chronic nighttime teeth-grinding, also known as bruxism. This can be triggered by stress, certain medications, sleep disorders, and other factors.
Grinding night after night puts immense amounts of pressure on your teeth, which can wear away at the enamel and increase tooth sensitivity.
If you suspect that you’ve been grinding your teeth at night, there is a likelihood that you may wake up with a sore jaw or headaches, or your teeth may look smooth, as if they’ve been filed. Talk to your dentist about getting a customized mouth guard to wear during sleep to prevent clenching.
Stay Away From Acidic Foods and Drinks
If you experience tooth sensitivity, you’re aware that certain hot, cold, and sweet foods can trigger the pain. The simplest way to minimize it is to avoid eating very hot and cold foods, sweets, and products that are highly acidic such as citrus fruits and soft drinks.
You should also particularly avoid chewing on things that are both cold and crunchy, like ice. The dramatic change in temperature combined with the toughness of the ice increases your risk of cracking a tooth, which would heighten your sensitivity even more.
Brush With Gentle Strokes
To avoid damaging any more enamel or gum tissue, change your toothbrush to one that is soft and has supple bristles.
Using a hard, stiff toothbrush can continue to erode your enamel and gums, making you even more susceptible to tooth sensitivity. You should also aim to use soft, gentle strokes when brushing, especially when approaching the gumline.
See A Dentist
Persistent pain and sensitivity, especially if it’s concentrated on one tooth, is often a sign that something more serious is going on in your mouth.
If using hyper-sensitivity toothpaste, cutting back on acidic foods, and using a softer toothbrush and a lighter touch don’t seem to eliminate the pain, mention all and your tooth sensitivity to your dentist at your next visit.
Hyper-sensitivity that can’t be cured with these simple tricks may be caused by a crack in the tooth, a damaged nerve, an infection, or a range of other complications.
The dentist will be able to address any of these issues with fillings, fluoride varnishes, and other treatments, relieving you of your nagging toothache.