What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is a common dental problem that affects many people. It occurs when the protective layer of your teeth, called enamel, wears down or when your gums recede, exposing the underlying dentin. Dentine contains tiny tubules that lead to the tooth's nerve centre, making your teeth sensitive to hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and drinks.
How Can You Relieve Tooth Sensitivity?
Use a Desensitising Toothpaste: Look for toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth. These toothpastes contain ingredients that help block the sensation from reaching the nerve.
Brush Gently: Brush twice a day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle, circular motions to avoid further enamel erosion.
Avoid Acidic Foods and Drinks: Limit your consumption of acidic foods and beverages like citrus fruits, soda, and wine, as they can erode the enamel. If you are going to drink fizzy drinks use a straw.
Don't Grind Your Teeth: Teeth grinding can worsen tooth sensitivity. Consider wearing a mouthguard at night to protect your teeth.
Use a Fluoride Mouthwash: Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash to strengthen your tooth enamel and reduce sensitivity, don’t use a mouthwash straight after brushing because it will wash away the concentrated fluoride. Use a mouthwash at a different time of day, such as lunchtime.
When to See a Dentist?
If your tooth sensitivity persists or worsens despite home remedies, it's important to consult a dentist. They can identify the underlying cause of your sensitivity and recommend appropriate treatment options.
FAQs About Sensitive Teeth
Q: Can teeth whitening cause sensitivity?
A: Yes, teeth whitening procedures can cause temporary tooth sensitivity. However, using desensitising toothpaste before and after the treatment can help minimize discomfort.
Q: Are there any home remedies for sensitive teeth?
A: While home remedies can provide temporary relief, it's best to consult a dentist for a proper diagnosis and treatment. They may recommend desensitizing treatments, dental sealants, or other solutions based on your specific needs.
Q: Can receding gums be reversed?
A: Unfortunately, receding gums cannot be reversed. However, your dentist can recommend treatments to prevent further recession and protect the exposed tooth roots.
Q: Can sensitive teeth be a sign of a more serious dental problem?
A: Yes, tooth sensitivity can sometimes indicate an underlying dental issue such as tooth decay, gum disease, or a cracked tooth. It's important to see a dentist for a proper evaluation.
By following these expert tips and seeking professional advice when needed, you can effectively manage and reduce tooth sensitivity, allowing you to enjoy your favourite foods and drinks without discomfort.