Most of us have experienced sensitive teeth at some point in our lives. Perhaps you’re experiencing it now. At times it can be resolved with just a simple trip to the dentist, while other times it may be a sign of a more serious problem. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity it is important to mention it to us. We will be able to help determine the cause of your sensitivity and suggest helpful solutions.
- Shrinking gums. As we age our gum line may recede. When this occurs the root of the tooth will be exposed, but the root doesn’t have enamel protecting it; so it will be more sensitive.
- Gum disease. Gum disease is caused by plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth, which can make your gums recede. This can damage the tooth and lead to pain.
- A cracked tooth. A small crack in the tooth may not be noticed at first, but if it reaches to the root you’ll notice pain. We will advise on the best way to repair the crack, depending on its’ severity.
- A broken or lost filling. A filling may break or fall out because of further decay surrounding it. This will leave the tooth vulnerable and can cause sensitivity. If you know you have a damaged or lost filling, call us as soon as possible.
To Avoid Further Damage
- Don’t brush too hard. Always use a soft bristle brush and keep it at an angle of 45 degrees.
- Avoid acidic foods and drinks. This includes soft drinks, sticky candy and high sugar carbs.
- Don’t grind your teeth. Teeth grinding can do a lot of damage over the long term. Sometimes grinding occurs due to stress and can be avoided with stress management strategies. If it is a perpetual habit talk to us about a mouth-guard.
- Avoid bleaching. We all like a whiter smile, but in some cases, whitening treatments can cause sensitivity. If you’ve started experiencing sensitivity shortly after beginning whitening treatment, consider stopping treatment and talk to us about other whitening options
- Quit smoking. Smoking can lead to gum disease, which can exasperate sensitivity.
When considering treatment, it is helpful to seek our advice. Determining the cause of your sensitivity may dictate the kind of treatment needed. No amount of special toothpaste will solve pain caused by an unfilled cavity. But there are things that can be done to help alleviate general sensitivity:
- Brush with toothpastes designed for sensitive teeth. There are several different brands available; we can recommend a brand that is best for you. The key with sensitivity toothpastes is to use them long term. Don’t switch back to regular toothpaste when the pain is gone.
- Place the sensitivity toothpaste on a finger and rub it on the painful area. Letting the paste sit on the affected area will give it more time to absorb.
- Change your toothbrush. Make sure you are using a soft-bristled brush and replacing it every 3-4 months. If the bristles look frayed, replace it earlier.
Again, if you are experiencing sensitivity in your teeth, contact us right away! To schedule an appointment, call 312.943.6444 or click here.