Your teeth are vital to your day-to-day health and comfort. Technically speaking, teeth function to masticate (break down) food by cutting, tearing, and crushing it in preparation for swallowing and digesting. Considering they have such an important purpose, protecting and maintaining healthy teeth is essential.
There are four types of teeth: incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. They all have a specific position in your mouth and serve different functions. Regardless of their position and purpose, they are all susceptible to sensitivity.
How to identify sensitive teeth
Hot coffee or cold juice can send jolting pain through your teeth that is hard to ignore. Sensitivity can also manifest as a dull ache or mild soreness that comes and goes. There are many courses of action to relieve the pain from tooth sensitivity; however, it is crucial to ensure there are no serious problems causing it. Some potential causes include cavities, gum diseases, and abscesses. If one of these is the cause of your tooth sensitivity, you need to book an appointment with an emergency dentist.
Tips for managing sensitive teeth
Here are some of the most useful tips to help manage sensitive teeth:
Avoid foods and beverages with extreme temperatures
Frozen and very hot drinks tend to create a lot of discomfort for people with sensitive teeth. You would do well to avoid these beverages to prevent further pain. In addition, some foods worsen sensitivity. Foods and drinks like coffee, certain fruits, sodas, and pickles can increase tooth sensitivity and wear down your enamel. Limit your intake of these foods or avoid them entirely.
Switch to toothpaste for sensitive teeth
Toothpaste is available that is specifically made for treating sensitive teeth. It contains additives to desensitize or protect sensitive areas. As tooth enamel wears away, it exposes a layer called dentin, which is sensitive to touch and temperature. The potassium nitrate found in toothpaste for sensitive teeth restores tooth enamel by filling it in over time. This special toothpaste provides relief for symptoms of tooth sensitivity and helps protect delicate areas from irritation.
Use a soft toothbrush
It’s best to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush gently and protect the surface of your teeth. Stiff bristles and abrasive toothpaste are hard on enamel and can lead to microscopic holes and more sensitivity. Using hard-bristled toothbrushes also pushes back the gum line, leaving exposed nerves and dentin.
Ask your dentist about a mouthguard
Some people experience bruxism, sensitivity caused by grinding your teeth while you sleep. To prevent this, your dentist can make you a custom mouthguard to wear at night, which protects your teeth from friction.
Get regular dental exams
Schedule regular dental cleanings and examinations so your dentist can catch issues like gum disease early. Gum disease is a major cause of tooth sensitivity. As gum tissue breaks down and recedes, it exposes parts of the teeth with no enamel. This leaves nerves below the gumline unprotected, leading to further damage. Regular visits to your Slidell dentist can detect exposed dental nerves and the onset of gum disease so you can begin treatment immediately.
Consider dental varnishes and coating
Dental varnish is a liquid coating applied in thin layers and converted to a solid film by a chemical or physical process. The purpose of dental varnishes and coating is to protect teeth from cariogenic bacteria using active fluoride and antimicrobial substances. Varnishes and coating add a layer of protection that alleviates sensitivity and reduces the likelihood of future problems.
Use a saltwater mouthwash
Saltwater mouthwash alleviates pain caused by mouth sores, tooth damage, and sensitivity. It also reduces inflammation and acts as an antiseptic. Saltwater balances the mouth’s pH levels and reduces bacteria growth. Use it after you brush in the morning and evening until your sensitivity improves.
Take a break from teeth bleaching
Talk to your dentist about teeth bleaching and how it may affect your oral health. Teeth bleaching can cause temporary tooth sensitivity as the whitening chemicals enter your dentin tubules, the microscopic channels in tooth enamel that lead to nerves. Though sensitivity from teeth bleaching is temporary, it can heighten existing sensitivity and discomfort.
Eat high-fiber, low-sugar food
Foods high in sugar cause teeth to deteriorate and can increase sensitivity. This happens when fermentable carbohydrates combine with bacteria in your mouth to form acids. Acid erodes enamel, which in turn exposes nerves. For this reason and many others, it’s best to avoid sugary foods.
Garlic is a numbing agent for tooth pain and sensitive teeth. One of the most well-known compounds of garlic is allicin, which has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that kill bacteria and reduce pain from toothaches. Allicin is not present in whole garlic cloves but is created when the clove is cut or crushed. Once allicin is produced, it is only active for a short period.
Your Emergency Dentist in Slidell
When it comes to your dental health, prevention is the best treatment. However, if you have tooth sensitivity or dental pain, you can rely on the emergency dentists at Fremaux Dental Care. Our dental clinic has state-of-the-art technology and a knowledgeable and experienced dental team. Call us at (985) 445-9656 or fill out our contact form to request further information.