Sensitive teeth have always been responsible for turning your laughter into a groan! Countless people will nod their head in agreement for they too have experienced the lingering discomfort inflicted by teeth sensitivity.
The precise term for this problem is dentin hypersensitivity, which typically occurs in response to exposure of a tooth layer called dentin. There are plenty of reasons that can be cited for wearing away of the outermost layer, enamel, resulting in exposure of the dentinal tubules (the key component that provides tooth sensation).
These can range from overzealous brushing of teeth, excessive and long term consumption of acidic beverages or foods, clenching of teeth to gingival recession. As a result, enjoying a hot cup of coffee or a dollop of ice cream becomes difficult. Thankfully, there are a handful of ways that can help fix the problem of sensitive teeth. Let’s get ourselves acquainted with some of the treatment options.
Best Tips to Fix Sensitive Teeth
Switch to a Better Toothbrush
To ensure better cleaning of the teeth surfaces, make use of an electric or power driven toothbrush. This not only aids in thorough removal of dental plaque from all the areas which are difficult to reach using the manual one, but also keeps the chances of gingival injury to a minimum.
In case you are not too comfortable using an electric toothbrush, you can always switch to a manual toothbrush which has soft bristles that clean teeth without damaging the outermost, protective layer or the gingiva. Always remember to apply gentle amount of pressure on the surfaces of teeth while brushing.
One of the easiest ways to get rid of tooth sensitivity is to invest in a desensitizing tooth paste. Such toothpastes are specially prepared to deal with this particular problem. In case of doubt, you can ask your dental care provider for suggestions.
You can, thus, substitute the toothpaste you are currently using with a desensitizing one for some time (up to 4 weeks). With regular use, you will begin to notice significant fall in the intensity of dentinal hypersensitivity.
The specially incorporated ingredients, like potassium nitrate and/or strontium chloride, serve the purpose of either remineralizing the exposed tooth layer by diffusing into the dentinal tubules or by blocking them. This helps in preventing the transmission of pain sensation from the outer layer towards the nerves within. Brands like Sensodyne.
Say ‘No’ to Sensitive Teeth with Fluoride
Fluoride is a mineral that has a fundamental role in strengthening the tooth against tooth sensitivity and decay induced by acid attack. It does so by increasing the mineralization rate of the outermost layer, enamel.
Fortunately, fluoride containing mouth rinses are readily available at any pharmacy store. Use it on a daily basis for noticeable results. Fluoride can also be applied by the dentist in the form of fluoride varnishes or gels.
If none of the above treatments result in appreciable results, you may need any of the below given dental procedures. If the cause of sensitivity stems from exposed root surfaces (because of gingival recession), the dentist suggests placement of sealants on the deficient areas to block the transmission of pain.
If you have a habit of clenching or grinding your teeth (mostly at night), do consult your dentist regarding occlusal splints, which are also, known as mouth guards.
Photo Credit: http://www.sensodyne.co.uk/about-sensitive-teeth/what-causes-sensitive-teeth.aspx