In our last blog post, we looked at some of the basics of understanding tooth sensitivity and the causes of sensitive teeth. In this post, our dental clinic in Sarasota would like to cover some information on prevention and treatment of sensitive teeth.
Preventing Sensitive Teeth
Anyone who has developed sensitive teeth will tell you emphatically: Prevent sensitive teeth from happening if at all possible, because it’s no fun to have them! No one wants to have to give up eating ice cream, drinking ice-cold drinks, and eating or drinking acidic foods like citrus fruits or carbonated beverages.
Here are some tips on how you can prevent sensitive teeth from developing, or how to stop your already-sensitive teeth from bothering you even more.
- Maintain good oral hygiene to avoid excessive plaque buildup.
- Avoid brushing your teeth too hard. If in doubt, ask your dentist or hygienist about proper brushing technique and the right toothbrush you should choose to make sure you’re not brushing too vigorously.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to acidic foods or beverages, and cut down on the frequency that you consume those foods or drinks. For instance, sipping a carbonated beverage all day is much worse for your teeth than drinking the whole thing at one time. Also, if you frequently drink lemon water, be aware that your teeth will take a beating for it.
- Promptly treat any cavities that develop. The best way to do this is to have regular dental checkups.
- Be proactive about keeping your gums in good shape. If even the tiniest bit of your tooth roots get exposed due to receding gums, you’ll feel extra-sensitive to things like temperature. Again, the best way to do this is to see the dentist regularly and catch any gingivitis or periodontitis right away in the early stages.
- Avoid smoking and chewing tobacco.
- Avoid biting your nails and chewing on hard substances like hard candy, ice cubes, or popcorn kernels.
- Avoid doing things that could crack your enamel, such as eating something very hot and immediately afterward eating or drinking something ice-cold.
Treating Sensitive Teeth
If you already have sensitive teeth, there are several options to treat them.
- Buy an ADA-approved toothpaste for sensitive teeth. These toothpaste products contain ingredients that help to desensitize your teeth from painful sensations.
- Get a dentist to repair any cracked teeth or dental fillings that are old, worn, or cracked, allowing substances to leak through them to your underlying dentin.
- Ask your dentist about fillers and sealants that can help to coat your teeth and give them an extra layer of protection against sensitivity.
- Ask your dentist about whether a fluoride rinse or fluoride gel would be a good option
- If your teeth are getting worn down due to grinding at night, look into getting a mouth guard that you can wear to stop this from eroding your enamel.
- If your sensitive teeth are due to coming into contact with stomach acid, ask your doctor about treating your acid reflux.
Sensitive teeth are not necessarily dangerous, but they are definitely inconvenient and painful, and they can indicate that there are deeper problems in your mouth. Schedule your appointment with Dr. Colkmire today.