Tooth sensitivity is something we’ve likely all had to deal with at one point or another, especially during this time of year. When the air outside is particularly chilly, our teeth can become more sensitive to temperature, which can make it uncomfortable to ingest food or drink that’s hot or cold.
Fortunately, that discomfort doesn’t necessarily mean you have a cavity. Sensitivity is a symptom of decay, yes, but can also be caused by other factors, like an exposed root, irritated gums or worn tooth enamel, which often require less serious treatment. If you’re experiencing frequent or increasing sensitivity, it’s important that you visit your dentist as soon as possible to uncover the cause—you may find the solution is as simple as switching to a different toothpaste, but it’s always better to find out early on if you have a cavity or infection that requires treatment.
In the meantime, try these tips to help ease that pain or discomfort before it begins to interfere with your daily life.
Relieve Discomfort Caused By Tooth Sensitivity
- Try a soft-bristle toothbrush. You may be unintentionally irritating your gums by using a toothbrush with firmer bristles during this time of year, so a softer pick can make for a gentler clean. Also try altering your brushing intensity—while you may think that vigorous brushing will help keep your teeth better protected from plaque build-up, you may actually wind up eroding your tooth enamel at the same time. Brushing with a natural, lighter intensity for two whole minutes will get the job done more comfortably and effectively.
- Switch toothpastes. If you’re unsure of the cause of your tooth sensitivity, changing up your regular toothpaste for one that’s specifically designed for sensitive teeth can be another great place to start. When tooth enamel erodes, it can cause dentin, the main tissues of your teeth, to become exposed. Toothpastes that are specifically designed for sensitive teeth work by desensitizing this vulnerable dentin, and can help protect and build up remaining enamel.
- Avoid drinking anything acidic. Acid not only exacerbates any sensitivity you may be feeling, it also causes your tooth enamel to soften, making it more vulnerable to erosion over time. If you indulge in an acidic drink (fruit juice, red wine, soda), make sure to use a straw to keep it away from your teeth.
- Buy a mouthguard. You could be grinding your teeth at night without ever knowing it—a mouthguard can help create a barrier between your top and bottom teeth to prevent unnecessary friction while you’re sleeping.
Are you suffering from tooth sensitivity? To learn more about what could be causing your discomfort—as well as the most effective ways to treat those causes—schedule and appointment to see the experienced dentists at Robbie Smith DDS. We’re here to make your teeth as healthy and happy as possible!