(Guest post by Dr. Toni.)
Are there days that you can’t enjoy some ice cream or chocolate because of tooth sensitivity? Tooth sensitivity plain and simple …sucks.
You have to think about what you’re eating. How you are eating. Don’t let the food get on that tooth over there. That is no way to live! You should be able to enjoy your food and eat what you please!
I have watched many of my own patients come in that have suffered from tooth sensitivity for years. Then when I show them products or treatment options that can help elevate or complete eliminate their sensitivity, I become an angel sent from God to cure them of their sensitivity so they can enjoy their Ben and Jerry’s again!
How would you like this angel to tell you what causes sensitivity and what you can do about it?
Let’s start with the most common reason why you may have sensitivity.
Recession develops when your gums move down (or up the tooth, depending on if we are talking about an upper or lower tooth) and expose the root surface. One thing about teeth you must know is roots do not like to be exposed. Unlike the top part of your tooth, the root surface does not have that enamel layer that helps protect from sensitivity.
If the root surface is exposed, cold and sweets can irritate the tooth.
So how can you stop the sensitivity?
First, understand that most recession occurs due to aggressive tooth brushing. Remember, you are not scrubbing your teeth clean. You are only removing the soft plaque build up on your teeth. So take it easy when you are brushing your teeth.
If you are a little heavy handed when you’re brushing and recession develops and causes sensitivity, there are a few products that I highly recommend that can give you relief.
Dental Products for Tooth Sensitivity
I know you have probably seen the commercials for Sensodyne. There is a reason why it is recommended by many dentists. It works for many people.
A few things to know about using Sensodyne. This toothpaste is wonderful at relieving sensitivity. You must use the toothpaste twice a day. This means you have to replace whatever toothpaste you have on your bathroom sink with Sensodyne to really reap the benefits.
Another one of my favorite products that are great a relieving sensitivity is Crest Sensi Stop Strips. I have a problem child tooth and I use this product myself when my tooth starts to be a little touchy. This product is easy to use and can give you relief for up to 30 days. Warning: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should not use this product.
Other Causes of Tooth Sensitivity:
- Erosion: this can happen from eating acidic foods that cause the enamel on your teeth to get thin.
- Cavity: many times you will notice sweet foods and cold foods really irritate your teeth if you have a large or deep cavity. Make sure to see your dentist and have the tooth taken care of. If not, you risk the sensitivity turning into a bigger, more expensive problem.
- Grinding Your Teeth: you definitely want to have a night guard if you are grinding your teeth at night time. You can get an over the counter boil and bite night guard at your local drug store. Or you can have your dentist make you a custom night guard that will fit better and be more comfortable.
- Broken/Leaking Filling: please don’t wait to see your dentist if you suspect you are having sensitivity from a broken filling. If left over time, you can develop a cavity underneath the filling. This can lead to pain and expensive dental treatment. Make an appointment with your dentist as soon as you can.
- Recent Dental Treatment: Main times having a filling or a deep cleaning can stir up your teeth and cause them to be sensitive. It can take several weeks for the sensitivity to calm down.
Here is my short list of things that you can do to help eliminate tooth sensitivity today.
- Brush (preferably with an electric toothbrush with a pressure sensor) twice a day. Don’t skip brushing at night time.
- Floss daily (I know, I know. Just try to incorporate it into your routine.) Read my article about alternatives to flossing.
- Reduce the number of acidic foods in your diet
- Use Sensodyne toothpaste daily
- If there is just one tooth giving you a problem, try Crest Seni Stop Strips directly on the tooth
- If you know or think you are grinding your teeth, get a night guard.
I want you to be able to enjoy eating. You shouldn’t have to think so much when you are chewing up your food.
Leave a comment and let me know… What foods do you look forward to eating once your sensitivity is under control?
With lots of love,
About the author: Dr. Toni-Ann Hylton Mayembe attended Florida A&M University before graduating from Creighton University School of Dentistry in Omaha. Dr. Toni is a Dentist at Marrietta Dental, serving patients in the Jacksonville, Florida and surrounding areas in a private practice setting. Please visit Dr. Toni’s website to learn more about her, and to read more of her informative articles.
Thank you, Dr. Toni, for sharing this good information on tooth sensitivity!