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Huntington Family Dental Group
534 Shelton Ave, Shelton, CT 06484

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Understanding Sensitive Teeth

Having sensitive teeth and gums can make eating, drinking and other activities a painful experience. One of the most common symptoms of sensitive teeth is a stinging sensation when tasting things that are hot, cold, sour or sweet. Many people with this condition also feel pain when they breath in cold air. While this problem is a common one, it is also a condition that can be easily treated by your dentist.

Brushing and flossing your teeth and gums can be an uncomfortable experience when you have sensitive teeth and gums. The best way to figure out how to stop your pain is to know the underlying cause of your sensitive teeth. This will allow you and your dentist to determine a treatment plan that will effectively rid you of any discomfort or pain you’ve been experiencing. Once your treatment has succeeded, you will be able to enjoy foods, drinks and activities that you had previously been avoiding due to your sensitivity.

The primary cause of sensitive teeth is a breakdown in enamel that causes the roots of a tooth to become exposed. Other causes that can lead to this condition include tooth decay, gum disease, cracked teeth, receded gums and aggressive brushing. Once the roots of a tooth become exposed, the delicate nerves inside of the tooth become susceptible to extreme sensations, leading to discomfort and pain.

Your treatment plan for your sensitive teeth will depend on the underlying cause. If you have worn down enamel, your dentist will probably recommend that you use a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth. He or she may also prescribe fluoride supplements to make the enamel stronger. If you have receding gums, dental sealants may be applied to keep irritants from reaching the sensitive areas of your tooth. Root canals are typically utilized in cases where there are issues with the dental pulp inside of your tooth.

Underlying Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

  1. Brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush and using aggressive motions while brushing breaks down the enamel. Brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristled brush.
  2. Eating and drinking acidic items like tomatoes, citrus fruits and pickles can destroy the tooth’s enamel. Refrain from consuming these types of foods.
  3. Tooth grinding can also lead to sensitivity, as grinding the teeth breaks down enamel and exposes dentin. Talk to your dentist about how a mouth guard can help you to stop grinding your teeth.
  4. Using a toothpaste, mouthwash or other product with tooth-whitening ingredients in it can lead to sensitive teeth. Change brands if this is causing your sensitivity.
  5. Mouthwashes frequently contain alcohol and other ingredients that cause sensitivity. Switch over to a neutral rinse.
  6. Receding gums caused by gum disease can make your teeth more sensitive. Treatments for gum inflammation and dental sealants can address this kind of sensitivity.
  7. Recent dental procedures such as fillings, extractions and root canals can cause temporary sensitivity. This usually goes away in a timely manner. If it doesn’t, speak with your dentist.
  8. Cracked or chipped teeth that aren’t repaired in a timely manner also cause sensitive teeth.
  9. If you have an old tooth filling that has cracked or leaked, the enamel of your tooth can wear down further. In this case, the best option is to have the filling replaced.

While tooth sensitivity is easily treatable, it can sometimes be a sign of a more serious issue. See your dentist to determine what is causing your tooth and gum sensitivity. In most cases, you will be able to easily treat it via the use of fluoride treatments and special toothpastes.

Treatments for Sensitive Teeth

  • Schedule check-ups with your dentist in Shelton regularly. This allows you to catch any problems early on when they are easier to treat effectively.
  • Follow great dental care habits at home.
  • Brush your teeth using gentle brushing motions. You should also use a toothbrush with soft bristles.
  • Choose a toothpaste that has been designed for sensitive teeth.
  • Try a mouthwash containing fluoride.
  • If you grind your teeth at night, wear a custom-fitted night guard when you sleep.
  • Refrain from consuming acidic foods and drinks.

Once your dentist has determined why you have sensitive teeth, he or she will design a treatment plan that will rid you of your pain. If you have sensitive teeth due to tooth grinding while you sleep, your dentist will have you wear a custom-fitted mouth guard whenever you sleep. This keeps you from wearing down the enamel of your teeth and also prevents tooth fracturing.

To avoid enamel erosion, you should refrain from consuming acidic fruits, carbonated beverages and wine, as these items break down the enamel of the teeth. If you choose to consume acidic foods and beverages, refrain from brushing your teeth immediately afterwards, as that can cause further damage to the enamel. Always drink milk or water after consuming acidic items, as this can neutralize their effect.

Tips for Easing Pain

While you should always speak to your dentist to determine how to best treat your sensitive teeth, these dental care tips may be able to help you with your sensitive teeth and gums:

  1. Discover Desensitizing Toothpaste – Specially formulated toothpastes can help address tooth sensitivity. They also work relatively quickly to relieve you of pain.
  2. Ask About Fluoride – Fluoride treatments can be applied to your teeth. This strengthens enamel and keeps sensitivity from striking.
  3. Find the Remedy at the Roots – Tooth sensitivity caused by receded gums can be treated via a gum graft performed by your dentist. This covers the tooth’s exposed roots and gets rid of pain and discomfort.

Preventing sensitive teeth and gums from happening in the first place is always best. To keep this problem from causing you pain, be sure to brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, brush your teeth using a soft-bristled toothbrush, use gentle brushing motions and see your dentist consistently. Establishing the above dental health care habits will make it less likely that you develop sensitive teeth. It also ensures that your smile stays happy and healthy for a long time to come.

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Huntington Family Dental Group

534 Shelton Ave, Shelton, CT 06484

(203) 916-1173