Learn ways to alleviate tooth sensitivity
Do you ever take a sip of water or bite into a meal and feel a little pain? Tooth sensitivity is very common. Dr. Chuck remembers many, many of his patients complaining of tooth sensitivity over his four decades as a dentist. Read on to learn how to alleviate this feeling and to find out if it could be caused by a health issue.
What causes tooth sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is usually the result of worn tooth enamel or exposed tooth root. Sometimes a cavity, gum disease, a cracked or chipped tooth, or a filling that needs to be replaced can cause tooth sensitivity. If you’re experiencing this sharp pain in your teeth, you should visit your dentist and rule out any of these conditions.
If your dentist doesn’t see any problems with your teeth, then there are things you can do to decrease the painful feeling sometimes associated with sensitive teeth.
How to alleviate tooth sensitivity:
- Check your toothpaste first. Some whitening and tartar control toothpastes can increase tooth sensitivity.
- Look for a toothpaste that treats sensitive teeth. Sensodyne is a great option. It can take a few weeks for this toothpaste to help alleviate the pain, so be patient and consistent during this time.
- Be sure to clean your teeth for seven to 10 minutes a day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid pushing down too hard on the teeth and gums.
- If you suspect you’re grinding your teeth during the day or while sleeping, check with your dentist to see if a mouth guard can help. Tooth grinding can cause sensitivity.
- Certain foods and drinks can also add to tooth sensitivity. Acidic foods and drinks including carbonated drinks, citrus fruits, and wine can tear away at the tooth enamel over time, leaving your teeth more sensitive. If you still want to drink and eat these things, drink water afterward to wash away some of the acidity.
Do you have a dental question for Dr. Chuck? Ask me anything! Send your question to AMA@thedentalmedicalconvergence.org.