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TIPS FOR MANAGING TOOTH SENSITIVITY

Woodbourne Dental · Isle of Man

TOOTH SENSITIVITY: WHAT IT IS, TYPICAL CAUSES, AND HOW TO MANAGE IT

Tooth sensitivity is a common dental problem that can cause discomfort or pain when the teeth are exposed to certain stimuli, such as hot or cold temperatures, sweet or sour foods, or even pressure. The pain can be sharp and sudden, making it difficult to eat or drink normally. Tooth sensitivity occurs when the protective layer of enamel on the teeth becomes thin or wears away, exposing the underlying dentin, which contains microscopic tubules that lead to the nerves of the tooth. Some common causes of tooth sensitivity include tooth decay, gum disease, teeth grinding, cracked teeth, and abrasive toothpaste or brushing.

WHAT CAUSES TOOTH SENSITIVITY?

Tooth sensitivity is a dental condition that occurs when the layer of enamel that protects your teeth is worn down, exposing the underlying layer of dentin. Dentin is made up of microscopic tubules that connect to the nerves in your teeth, making them sensitive to external stimuli such as hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and drinks. Tooth sensitivity can occur in one or more teeth and can be a sign of other dental problems, such as gum disease or tooth decay. Tooth sensitivity can be caused by several factors, including:

  • Brushing too hard: Brushing your teeth too hard on a daily basis can cause your tooth enamel to wear down, leading to tooth sensitivity.

  • Acidic foods and drinks: Consuming acidic foods and drinks can erode your enamel, exposing the sensitive dentin underneath.

  • Gum recession: Gum recession can expose the roots of your teeth, which are more sensitive than the enamel.

  • Tooth decay: Tooth decay can cause cavities, which can lead to tooth sensitivity.

  • Teeth grinding: Grinding your teeth can wear down your enamel, making your teeth more sensitive.

Tooth sensitivity can be an indication of cavities or tooth infection. Book an appointment with your trusted dentist at Woodbourne Dental for a dental exam to determine the cause of your tooth sensitivity.

TIPS FOR REDUCING THE SENSITIVITY OF YOUR TEETH

​Treatments for tooth sensitivity depend on the underlying cause, but may include desensitizing toothpaste, fluoride treatments, dental bonding, fillings, or gum grafting. In more extreme cases, tooth sensitivity may be a symptom of a tooth abscess and may require a root canal to treat the infected tooth. Good oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing, can help prevent cavities and tooth sensitivity. Here are some tips that may help you reduce the sensitivity of your teeth, or prevent it from occurring in the first place:

  • Practice good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily to remove plaque and food particles that can erode your enamel.

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush: Brushing your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush can help prevent enamel erosion.

  • Use toothpaste for sensitive teeth: Toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth can help reduce tooth sensitivity by blocking the tubules in the dentin.

  • Avoid acidic foods and drinks: Limit your intake of acidic foods and drinks, such as citrus fruits, soda, and sports drinks.

  • Wear a mouthguard: If you grind your teeth, wearing a mouthguard can help prevent enamel erosion.

  • Visit your dentist regularly: Regular dental check-ups can help identify dental problems that may cause tooth sensitivity, and your dentist can recommend appropriate treatment.

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