Having sensitive teeth is an all too common problem that’s not only annoying… but painful, too. The shooting zings of pain when you eat something hot or cold can be unbearable. So what exactly can you do to help ease the pain of sensitive teeth? Let’s check in with your dentist in Alexandria.
Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
Before we dive into a few ways that you can relieve sensitive teeth, let’s take a look at a few things that can cause tooth sensitivity in the first place.
First, it’s important to know that our teeth have an outer layer called enamel. This enamel surrounds and protects the inner workings of the teeth, including the nerves. When enamel is damaged or wears away it leaves nerves exposed and can cause tooth sensitivity. Some common things that damage enamel and contribute to sensitivity include:
- Brushing Too Hard
- Gum Disease
- Damaged/Cracked Teeth
- Acidic Food
How to Ease Sensitive Teeth
We always recommend talking with your dentist about any dental problems you may have, including sensitive teeth. However, there are some ways you can ease tooth pain at home before your appointment.
Watch What You Eat – A diet that’s high in acid can easily wear away tooth enamel and leave you at increased risk for sensitivity or more sensitivity. Also, really hot or really cold foods can make sensitivity worse so try your best to limit these foods.
Be Careful How You Brush – It’s a common belief that we need to really scrub our teeth in order to thoroughly clean them, but the opposite is true. When you brush your teeth, use gentle, soft circles to avoid causing damage or increasing pain.
Use the Right Tools – How we brush isn’t the only thing that can cause or increase tooth sensitivity. Using the wrong tools can also play a role. Always select a soft-bristled toothbrush and if you’re dealing with sensitivity, a toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth.
Professional, long-term treatment of sensitive teeth depends on what’s causing it. Your dentist in Alexandria will have solutions for your specific case and may include:
- Fluoride – Perhaps the quickest and easiest way to help combat tooth sensitivity is with a fluoride treatment. Your dental hygienist can easily apply fluoride at your regular dental checkups to areas that are sensitive.
- Bonding – Bonding is also an easy dental treatment that can be completed in only one office visit. It’s best used in treating decay or a cracked tooth. Essentially, your dentist will fill your tooth with a composite resin that matches the rest of your teeth. This can help alleviate pain.
- Root Canal – If necessary, your dental team may recommend a root canal if other treatments haven’t been successful or aren’t appropriate. But don’t worry, root canals are not the scary and painful thing you might imagine. They actually get you out of pain!
If you’re one of the Academy of General Dentistry’s estimated 40 million Americans that suffers from tooth sensitivity, schedule an appointment with your Alexandria dentist to find the best way to treat your sensitive tooth pain.
Accepting new patients from Alexandria, Old Town, Del Ray, and nearby areas.