Tooth Sensitivity and Fluoride Treatment
Tooth sensitivity is no fun! Unfortunately, it is a very common occurrence. Avoiding ice cream and other frozen treats or not enjoying your morning coffee, hot or iced, can make daily food ventures less fun. Certain toothpastes are developed specifically for tooth sensitivity and regular use can be of great help. Your dentist can also recommend fluoride treatments to apply to further the benefits. Here we will review some causes of tooth sensitivity and how to reduce it.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
The severity of your tooth sensitivity will determine if you need special treatment by your dentist or not. Teeth can be sensitive to hot and cold foods or even simply cold air and the level of discomfort you feel to these stimuli could be a symptom of tooth decay, gum disease or other oral health issues. A few causes of tooth sensitivity include:
- Poor oral hygiene, resulting in tooth decay
- A diet rich in acidic foods and beverages, wearing away tooth enamel
- Brushing the teeth and gums too hard, resulting in gum recession and damage to the enamel
If your tooth sensitivity is such that you avoid certain foods and beverages, notify your dental professional team. They can help guide you and make recommendations to ease your sensitivity. Your hygienist may begin recommending topical fluoride application at your cleaning appointments and your dentist may have you add at home fluoride treatments to your oral hygiene routine.
How Fluoride Helps Sensitivity
Fluoride has been used to strengthen teeth for years. Topical fluoride is applied directly to the teeth to help repair and strengthen the enamel. Fluoride helps prevent sensitivity and tooth decay. Tap water can be a good source of fluoride when you ingest it and using a fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash will only further the benefits. Having fluoride treatments at your regular cleanings boost your defense against sensitivity and decay.
Preventing Sensitive Teeth
While receiving fluoride treatments at your bi-annual dental cleanings is highly beneficial to combating tooth sensitivity, a couple of steps you can do daily on your own include:
- Avoid acidic foods and beverages, such as sodas and citruses
- Use an anti-sensitivity toothpaste and mouthwash
- Use a fluoride toothpaste, asking for a recommendation from your dental professional team
- Brush gently! Switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush if you are not already using one
- Maintain a regular hygiene schedule with your dentist, at least twice a year
Preventative dental care is the best way to keep your smile healthy and functioning properly. Be sure to address any problems with your dentist as soon as they arise. Our teeth and gums do not heal themselves! This includes magically becoming less sensitive!
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