If you take a sip of iced tea, a bite of ice cream or eat some chocolate, you will likely to feel a strong, biting, electrical sensation shooting up your teeth. It is often so intense and severe that it can leave you gasping and flying out of your chair. This sensation is called as tooth sensitivity. Sensitivity in the teeth can occur due to a number of reasons.
Trauma and dental decay is one of them. Often the teeth are unduly sensitive after a root canal, filling or after a dental procedure. Luckily, for most people, you do not have to sit back and suffer in silence. There are several known and effective treatments for tooth sensitivity, which are enumerated below.
Treatments for Sensitive Teeth
Desensitizing toothpaste can bring utmost and almost immediate relief to the affected tooth. If your tooth sensitivity is occurring due to enamel abrasion, then this can be easily tackled by using a special desensitizing toothpaste. Speak to your dentist and ask him/her to recommend one for you. You can also use any of the OTC desensitizing toothpastes that are available in the market.
These toothpastes work as they have some special ingredients that fill up the dentin channels called as tubules thus reducing tooth sensitivity. Make sure you rub the toothpaste over your affected teeth and leave it on the teeth for a few minutes. You can spit out the toothpaste but make sure that you do not rinse it out. Doing this daily should give you good results in a few weeks and you will soon be able to enjoy the foods that you could not eat earlier.
Fluoride rinses are special formulations that are available at your local pharmacy. These can be picked up with the permission of your doctor. They are especially effective against tooth sensitivity that is caused by dental decay. Use it once a day. Swish it around your mouth and then spit it out.
Some people need stronger formulations especially people who have gum problems and have to go in for regular tooth related cleanings. Root planing for instance can leave the teeth feeling unusually sensitive. This can be remedied by using a fluoride gel, which is more potent and more effective in the long run.
Keep the Teeth Scrupulously Clean
It is very important to keep the teeth clean and practice good oral hygiene. Make it a point to regularly brush your teeth. This reduces the incidence of sticky and gummy dental plaque, which coats the surface of your teeth and leaves the teeth susceptible to tooth decay. Thus, it becomes mandatory to brush and floss your teeth to remove all food debris from your mouth.
Use a Soft Toothbrush
Make sure you use a soft toothbrush to clean your teeth. Often hard and vigorous brushing with hard bristled brushes can erode the enamel of the tooth thus leading to acute tooth sensitivity. This can be curtailed by switching to a soft bristled toothbrush, which is not so harsh on the teeth. Always brush your teeth slowly and apply gentle pressure while brushing. The brush should move on the teeth in a slow and circular manner only.
Ban and Quit Smoking
Smoking can deteriorate the health of your teeth and gums. Smoking causes the gum line in the mouth to recede and this leaves the teeth vulnerable to tooth decay and sensitivity.
There is nothing like controlled smoking or safe cigarettes. So ensure that you give up this habit right away to protect your teeth from acute sensitivity.
Covering Exposed Tooth Roots
If receding gums are your problem, the root of the tooth may become exposed causing massive tooth sensitivity. The doctor can tackle this by applying special dental sealants on the surface of the teeth.
Caries and cavities can cause tooth rot and decay and this can arouse tooth sensitivity. Hence, it is very important to treat and remedy the dental caries and cavities. One of the safest and permanent solutions to a decaying tooth that causes tooth sensitivity is a root canal procedure. In this, the roots of the teeth are cleaned and the pulp along with the surrounding blood vessels is removed. This makes the tooth desensitized. Within days, your teeth will be fine and will no longer appear sensitive.
Limit your Intake of Acidic Foods
Acidic foods like beverages, sweets and carbonated drinks cause the build up of acids in the mouth. These acids corrode the enamel of the teeth and cause tooth sensitivity.
If you cannot resist consuming these drinks and foods, limit your contact with them by using a straw. This prevents the foods from coming into direct contact with the teeth. In addition, it is very important to brush your teeth an hour after consuming these acidic foods. Acid softens the enamel and makes it vulnerable to erosion.
Use a Mouth Guard
If you suffer from teeth grinding or bruxism, make sure you use a good mouth guard at night. This prevents the teeth from being grinded and clenched and can decrease corresponding tooth sensitivity. Excessive clenching and grinding of teeth is also responsible for tooth enamel erosion so care must be taken to not grind the teeth.
Fix Appointments with the Dentist
Make sure you fix regular appointments with the dentist. The dentist will conduct a thorough examination of your teeth and examine the teeth for decay and caries. Receding gums can be pushed back with surgery or deep cleaning procedures. Cavities can be filled and root canals done on the affected teeth. Follow the oral hygiene instructions and make use of the fluoride treatments, as these are likely to give you good results over a period of time.
There are chances of tooth crowns and fillings coming off. It then becomes very necessary to follow up with your dentist and get the necessary rectifications done to prevent tooth sensitivity from recurring. This will give you an overall healthy mouth, good teeth and pink gums all of which will help to combat tooth sensitivity.