You understand the frustration of having sensitive teeth if you have to be concerned about dental pain when drinking your coffee or biting into an ice cream cone. Mealtimes too, can be difficult and disrupted by tooth discomfort, which can in turn affect your everyday routine. However, tooth sensitivity frequently indicates a more serious dental issue in addition to being an annoyance.
The signs of tooth sensitivity can include anything from a mild niggling pain to a severe acute, stabbing, or throbbing pain, and might include:
- Tooth ache when consuming hot or cold foods and drinks
- Tooth discomfort that is random and only affects a single tooth or a few nearby teeth.
- Discomfort during eating or biting
- Using mouthwashes with alcohol causes tooth pain
- Discomfort from mouth breathing, especially in cold weather
- Discomfort from eating or drinking sweet or acidic things
Finding the cause is crucial if you’re one of the more than 40 million Americans who have tooth sensitivity. A dentist’s examination of your teeth can assist identify the cause of your pain and the most effective way to relieve your symptoms.
Erosion of Tooth Enamel
The protective layer that protects the tooth, worn enamel, is the most frequent cause of dental sensitivity. Dentin, a tooth layer that contains tubules that pass to the nerve, is made visible by worn-down or thinning enamel. The tooth’s nerve can experience discomfort in response to temperature or pressure changes, including heat, cold, acidity, and others.
While some erosion is a normal byproduct of ageing, certain actions might quicken it.
One practise that might hasten the thinning of the enamel is overbrushing.
This may require using a hard-bristled toothbrush, washing the teeth vigorously, or brushing more than three times each day.
Under-brushing is similarly damaging since bacteria eat away at enamel when they are allowed to build up. This is particularly true if you frequently consume sugary or acidic foods and beverages, which feed the germs that erode your teeth.
Since your teeth rely on appropriate saliva production to coat them in protective calcium and other minerals, chronic dry mouth is another typical cause of tooth sensitivity.
Additionally, saliva cleans the mouth of debris, dilutes erosive substances like acid, and increases protective compounds that combat disease-causing bacteria in the mouth.
Tooth sensitivity is frequently caused by tooth-whitening products. These products contain some teeth-whitening chemicals that can damage tooth enamel over time.
Tooth Injury or Tooth Decay
When your tooth’s enamel breaks down, bacteria can enter and cause cavities. Bacteria enter the dentin as a result, making the tooth sensitive. Teeth with chips or fractures may expose the area of the tooth that is sensitive to pressure and temperature changes. One of the most frequent causes of tooth damage is the unconscious habit of grinding or clenching your teeth both during the day and at night.
Gum tissue that has become infected and painful from gum disease may also be sensitive.
As the gums separate from the teeth, the nerve-containing roots are thereby exposed, leading to not just discomfort but also increased bacteria and tartar buildup.
Your teeth change as a result of your orthodontic modifications, moving into the proper positions, making them more sensitive than usual due to the pressure the braces put on them. After each adjustment, the sensitivity should only persist for a few days. If it persists, you probably have dental sensitivity from sources other than braces.
How to Treat Tooth Sensitivity
The good news is that there are several alternatives for dealing with sensitive teeth. The optimal choice(s) for you will be determined with the assistance of your dentist and orthodontist.
Toothpastes and Rinses for desensitisation
Desensitizing toothpastes can hide the symptoms but won’t treat the underlying cause of sensitivity. Strontium chloride, potassium nitrate, and fluoride are the main ingredients in these toothpastes. Fluoride is a mineral that works as a protective layer and builds tooth enamel, helping to stop tooth sensitivity from getting worse. The substance that prevents pain signals from reaching the brain is potassium nitrate. Additionally, strontium chloride blocks the dentin tubule apertures, keeping stimuli from getting to the nerve. Usually, you must use this toothpaste multiple times prior for any visible improvements to be noticed.
Fluoride- and remineralization-rich mouthwashes can be used in conjunction with desensitising toothpastes. However, since alcohol can enhance sensitivity, it is imperative to choose options free of alcohol. Additionally, avoid using mint flavouring, which some people may find sensitive.
Toothbrush with soft bristles
An American Dental Association recommendation is to use a toothbrush with soft bristles. Too-hard brushing or using a brush with a rough bristle can harm the gums and tooth enamel.
Using a soft-bristled brush causes people to brush more vigorously and with greater pressure, which is bad for their gums and teeth. A gentle scrub instead of a hard press will accomplish much more.
A dental sealant is a thin plastic coating that is coated on your teeth’s surfaces to relieve sensitivity. It covers the chewing surfaces, root surfaces, exposed dentin, and gumline. Dental sealants are designed to serve as a substitute for lost tooth enamel in order to stop additional decay or damage. The part of your mouth that is sensitive will have sealant application from the dentist. Before having to be repeated, this treatment normally lasts at least six months.
Replace sugary and acidic foods and drinks with those high in calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D, phosphorus, and potassium if you have sensitive teeth. These meals and beverages can help keep your teeth healthy and stave off additional deterioration. Protein-rich foods like meat, fish, and tofu, crunchy vegetables, milk, yoghurt, and cheese, as well as orange-colored, non-citrus fruits and vegetables, are a few examples.
Things you can do at home
You can make a variety of homemade remedies for sensitive teeth. However, you should only use these as a temporary solution until you can schedule a dental appointment, with your dentist’s approval as the primary therapy, or to support a dental professional-approved treatment.
Some options you can consider are:
- Saltwater rinse: Use 1/2 to 3/4 tsp of salt in a glass of lukewarm water twice daily.
- Rinse with hydrogen peroxide by combining two teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide (the optimal concentration is 3 percent hydrogen peroxide) with two tablespoons of warm water.
- Pour vanilla extract onto a cotton ball, then dab it on the gums surrounding the troublesome teeth.
- Swish some sesame or coconut oil around for what is known as oil pulling.
- Green tea: To strengthen teeth and minimise inflammation, gargle with unsweetened green tea twice daily.
- Capsaicin may burn at first when applied topically or used as a mouthwash, but it should lessen pain sensations with repeated use. This component is found in chilli peppers.
- Apply clove oil with a cotton ball to the gums surrounding the afflicted teeth.
- Use turmeric to either massage the afflicted teeth directly or to create a topical paste using mustard oil, salt, and turmeric.
Bonding as an option
Dental bonding is the process of employing adhesives and high-intensity light to apply tooth-colored resin, a sturdy plastic material. The most common use of bonding is to conceal a chipped or discoloured tooth for cosmetic reasons. The coating on the tooth, though, also inhibits chemicals from getting to the dentin and communicating with the tooth’s nerve.
Before it needs to be renewed, bonding typically lasts for several years. But because the composite resin used in bonding is weaker than your original teeth, it makes your restored teeth more prone to fracturing or chipping.
Gum Graft by Surgery as an option
Gum grafting is the only most effective treatment for receding gums since they are never able to regenerate. Soft tissue from another area of the mouth or a donor source is glued over the exposed tooth roots during this treatment. The tooth roots will then be tightly sealed by this new gum tissue, thereby preventing sensitivity.
Bite Shields as an option
A removable appliance called a bite guard is designed to cover either your upper or lower teeth.
It aids in preventing bruxism, a harmful oral habit that causes teeth grinding and clenching, from harming your teeth.
While bite guards won’t always stop you from clenching or grinding your teeth, they do assist shield the tooth surfaces from sensitivity and other harm brought on by these habits.
Sports mouthguards and bite guards are comparable, but bite guards are usually less bulky and constructed of smoother, thinner plastic. They can be ordered online, acquired at a nearby drugstore ready-made (boil-and-bite or microwaveable), or manufactured specifically for your mouth by your dentist.
Root Canal as an option
Your dentist may suggest a root canal, which is thought to be the most effective method for eradicating tooth sensitivity, if your sensitive teeth are causing you significant discomfort and other treatments are ineffective. In order to relieve discomfort, a root canal is an invasive operation that involves removing the tooth pulp (the tooth’s deepest layer). Your dentist will remove the pulp, clean the area to prevent infection, and then fill your tooth with a different material. Your dentist will then cover the tooth with a crown to further safeguard it.
Invisalign as an option
Some patients who want to correct their teeth but worry about increasing discomfort find it intimidating to know that orthodontic therapy exacerbates tooth sensitivity. For those who have tooth sensitivity, Invisalign is a fantastic solution. Invisalign helps lessen the sensitivity braces cause since there is less potential for mouth irritation and the growth of bacteria, which may frequently occur through exposure to the metal wires, brackets, and bands of traditional braces.
As can be seen there are numerous options for sensitive teeth. Get in touch with us today to find out which option best suits you.