Sensitive teeth are a problem for many people. Common causes of this condition include improper tooth brushing technique, tooth grinding, and dietary factors. The key to managing the condition is to follow these steps from a dentist in Macedonia.
Common Causes of Sensitive Teeth
Tooth sensitivity has a variety of possible causes. These include:
- Overindulging in sweet or starchy foods. Sugar and starches promote the growth of decay-causing oral bacteria.
- Using improper tooth brushing technique. Brushing your teeth too hard cause irritation or even bleeding.
- Drinking acidic beverages. Orange juice, tomato juice, tea and coffee can all irritate your teeth.
- Floss string that’s too thick for comfort. Floss comes in a variety of thicknesses. Your sensitive teeth may be the result of using the wrong brand for your needs.
- Grinding your teeth. Tooth grinding can damage protective enamel.
- Using the wrong brand of toothpaste. If this is the cause of the problem, then you may want to switch to a formula designed for sensitive teeth.
- You have chips or cracks in your teeth. These can expose the sensitive dentin beneath the enamel.
- You’ve recently undergone a dental procedure. Crowns, bridges, implants and whitening can all cause temporary teeth sensitivity.
- You have excessive plaque or tartar. Removing these substances from your teeth requires more than brushing and flossing. You should also see your dentist for regular cleanings.
What You Can Do about Your Sensitive Teeth
The first step to treating sensitive teeth is to try self-care steps like these:
- Changing your diet. Cut back on sweets and starches and opt for foods like reduced-fat cheese and yogurt, fresh fruits and vegetables, and healthy whole grains.
- Trying a different toothbrush or toothpaste. We already mentioned switching toothpaste brands. You can also try a different type of toothbrush. Ask your dentist to recommend a specific brand.
- Keeping notes. Knowing what foods irritate your teeth can help you to narrow down the underlying cause of your sensitivity.
- Trying systematic relaxation. Tooth grinding is often caused by nervous tension.
If self-care doesn’t resolve the problem, then the next step is to make an appointment with your dentist.
What Your Dentist Can Do About Sensitive Teeth
Here are some steps your dentist might try to help relieve your discomfort:
- Applying dental resin to chips or cracks in your teeth. This helps to protect the tooth’s inner layers.
- Using targeted fluoride therapy. Your dentist can apply concentrated fluoride to specific areas of your teeth that need strengthening.
- Performing a surgical gum graft. Sometimes the cause of tooth sensitivity is irritation to the gums. A skilled dentist can graft gum tissue into the affected area to protect the underlying nerves.
- Recommending a brand of desensitizing toothpaste. Certain toothpaste brands contain desensitizing agents that can help to manage the discomfort.
- Performing a root canal or other corrective procedure. Sometimes sensitive teeth are a symptom of a deeper problem, one which requires a more extensive treatment approach.
There’s no reason for anyone to suffer needlessly from sensitive teeth or gums. Try the self-care tips outlined in this post or make an appointment to see your dentist soon. You’ll soon be smiling again. I
About the Author
Dr. Dan Greenwood earned his DDS degree from the Ohio State University, graduating in 1995. He has been in practice at Greenwood Dental for the past 10 years. You can reach his office online or by calling (330) 467-2522.