Fixing Tooth Sensitivity
Having sensitive teeth can make everyday life uncomfortable. Small moments like enjoying your favorite ice-cream or your morning cup of coffee can cause unwanted discomfort. If this sounds familiar to you, you should know you are not alone. In fact, many people experience tooth sensitivity. At your next dental appointment, you should ask your dentist about options to help treat your tooth sensitivity, including the possibility of a fluoride treatment. Below is more information about what causes tooth sensitivity and what you can do to fix it.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
There are many things that can cause teeth to be sensitive to heat, cold, and air pressure. If you experience mild sensitivity every once in a while, there is little reason to be worried. However, if you regularly experience discomfort from hot and cold, you should have a discussion with your dentist, there may be a more serious underlying issue causing your discomfort. Sensitivity is typically the result of worn tooth enamel or exposed tooth roots. Sometimes tooth sensitivity may be caused by more serious issues, such as tooth decay (a cavity), gum disease, or another oral health issue.
Other factors that may cause mild tooth sensitivity include:
* Diets with highly acidic foods and beverages: Acidity in food and drinks can wear away the enamel on the tooth overtime, causing it to be exposed and more sensitive. If you love certain high acid drinks, you can try using a straw to limit the contact of the drink with your teeth. Also increasing water consumption after eating or drinking will help balance the acid levels in your mouth.
* Aggressive tooth brushing: Brushing your teeth too hard can result in damage to the enamel or cause gum recession, both which may result in more sensitivity.
* Genetics: Often tooth sensitivity is genetic and runs in the family.
Fixing Tooth Sensitivity
If you have tooth sensitivity that is bothering you, you should schedule a visit to see your dentist. Besides helping to determine the underlying cause, your dentist will have some recommendations to help treat your discomfort. Some possible solutions to fix your tooth sensitivity may include:
* Desensitizing tooth paste
* Fluoride treatments: fluoride treatment helps to maintain the minerals in the enamel of the teeth, strengthening it and minimizing tooth sensitivity. An alternate option is to look for toothpaste with added fluoride.
* Bonding treatment: if you have a tooth root that is partially exposed, applying composite bonding to the tooth and covering the root can help minimize sensitivity.
* Surgical gum graft: Another fix to covering exposed teeth, especially if the gums have recessed, is a surgical gum graft. During this procedure healthy gum tissue is taken from elsewhere in the mouth and attached to the affected area.
Preventing Tooth Sensitivity
Beyond treating sensitive teeth, there are other alterations you can make to your daily routine to prevent tooth sensitivity. Brushing daily with anti-sensitivity toothpaste and a soft-bristled tooth brush can go a long way to helping reduce symptoms. Changing your diet to reduce high acidity foods and beverages like sodas, coffee, and citrus juices will also help. Lastly, have a conversation with your dentist about your teeth. A quick fluoride treatment can make a big difference in improving your daily life.