What is tooth sensitivity? Do you have sharp, sudden pain in one or more of your teeth when you consume something hot, cold, sweet, or sour? If so, you may have sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity occurs when the dentin (the surface beneath your gums) is exposed to hot or cold and reaches the nerves in the teeth, which results in pain.
Some causes of sensitive teeth include wear and tear on the teeth due to brushing too hard or grinding your teeth; tooth decay near the gum line; and gum disease. Plaque buildup, long-term mouthwash use, acidic foods, and dental work can also cause sensitivity, although sensitivity due to dental work is usually temporary.
There are steps you can take to control, or reduce tooth sensitivity. Regular brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and daily flossing, taking extra care around the gum line so gum tissue isn’t damaged. You can also try a toothpaste designed specifically for sensitive teeth, along with a fluoridated mouth rinse. Your dentist can also recommend products that may work for sensitive teeth. Avoid consuming a lot of highly acidic foods and drinks, such as tomatoes, orange juice, soft drinks, and any sugar-laden foods. You can also try wearing a mouth guard at night to help keep you from grinding your teeth. As always, regular dental check-ups are highly recommended.
If these home remedies don’t alleviate the pain from your sensitive teeth, talk with your dentist. Several procedures are available that may do the trick: white fillings, fluoride varnishes, or dentin sealers applied to the exposed root surfaces are potential options for eliminating pain associated with sensitive teeth.
If you or a loved one is experiencing tooth sensitivity, contact Webster Dental in Downers Grove at (630) 663-0554.