Tooth sensitivity is a common condition that anyone can experience. It can mean anything from a mild twinge that lasts a few seconds to severe pain that lasts for hours.
Those with less of the protective enamel on their teeth, which becomes eroded by acid in foods and drinks over time, are likely to experience some tooth sensitivity. Without enamel to shield it, the soft, underlying layer of your teeth, called dentin, is left exposed. Dentin is connected to your tooth nerves, which can become irritated when stimulated by foods or drinks that are especially cold, hot, sweet, sour or acidic. Your teeth may also be sensitive to pressure or cold air.
While tooth sensitivity is usually a mild condition, it could be a symptom of more serious matters such as gum recession, gum disease, tooth grinding or cavities and cracks in your teeth.
What to Avoid
A trip to the dentist is the best way to treat tooth sensitivity; however, staying away from certain foods and drinks may help to decrease discomfort.
- Acidic Fruits.While fruits like oranges, grapefruits and tomatoes contain lots of healthy Vitamin C, they also contain high levels of acidity that can worsen tooth sensitivity.
- Hot Beverages. Hot coffee or tea can trigger pain. While you don’t have to forego these drinks altogether, it’s best to let them cool off a bit before taking a gulp.
- Ice Cream. While sugary foods should already be consumed in minimal proportions, cold sugary foods should be especially sparse in the diet of someone with sensitive teeth. To avoid pain, let your ice cream sit out for a bit after taking it out of the freezer. Or, as an alternative, sip on a milkshake through a straw.
- Soda. Both sugary and acidic, soda may cause even the strongest of teeth to experience sensitivity.
How to Prevent Tooth Sensitivity
- Excellent oral hygiene is the easiest thing you can do. You should brush your teeth twice a day, using small circular motions with a soft- to medium-bristled brush. Avoid brushing your teeth from side to side.
- Use a toothpaste or mouthwash that contains fluoride. Fluoride can help to strengthen your teeth by replacing the minerals that are lost with erosion.
- For those who grind their teeth, talk to your dentist about getting a mouth guard made for you to wear at night.
- Teeth bleaching can be a cause of tooth sensitivity. Before bleaching your teeth, talk to your dentist about the safest way to do it — especially if you already experience tooth sensitivity.
Do Not Ignore Tooth Sensitivity!
Remember: while tooth sensitivity is a common and usually mild condition, it can also be a sign of something more harmful. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, pay us a visit here at Daxon Dentistry so we can check for any underlying conditions and help you solve the problem. Don’t live in pain, let us help! Call us today.