Do you experience sharp and sudden pain when you bite down into frozen Summer treats? If so, you could be experiencing tooth sensitivity just like over 40 million other adults in North America. Unfortunately, most patients cannot completely correct the issue. There are a variety of ways, though, to reduce the pain and decrease the frequency this pain occurs.
How Do I Know I Am Experiencing Tooth Sensitivity?
If you experience tooth sensitivity or pain throughout the day, it’s likely you have dentin hypersensitivity. Although it is temporary, this sharp, unexpected pain can shoot up to your nerve endings, causing pain that is preferably avoided.
Although there are many reasons why tooth sensitivity can occur, these are some of the most common reasons:
- Brushing your teeth too hard,
- Frequently eating acidic foods,
- Grinding your teeth,
- Gum disease,
- Excessive plaque,
- A cracked tooth, and
- Using tooth-whitening formulas / excessive mouthwash.
Though symptoms come and go, it’s important to remember that approximately half the population experiences tooth sensitivity in their life. Stroud recommends that our clients let us know as soon as they experience pain so we can help! It is important that patients do not neglect tooth sensitivity as it can continue to get worse over time.
How Can I Prevent Tooth Sensitivity?
Although tooth sensitivity may never completely disappear, there are remedies that can help ease the discomfort you are facing. With Stroud’s help, you can identify the underlying cause of your sensitivity and discover the proper solution to your issue. Here are a few solutions that might help!
A New Toothpaste
An at-home treatment your dentist may suggest is the use of a low abrasion toothpaste. If your teeth tend to have weaker enamel, a normal toothpaste may be tough enough to permanently remove the enamel. A low abrasion toothpaste gently cleans your teeth, protecting your enamel while still fighting plaque. Some dentists have certain brands that they trust, while others recommend trying different products to find the right toothpaste!
Another option your dentist may recommend is the use of fluoride treatment, which can help prevent tooth decay. Depending on what is best for you, Stroud may recommend a brush-on fluoride gel, a fluoride rinse, or a high fluoride level toothpaste. that is specially formulated to make your teeth less sensitive and provide extra protection against decay.
A Soft Bristled Toothbrush
Though brushing is a key part of proper oral hygiene, brushing too hard could wear down protective layers of enamel. An at-home solution that may help prevent rough brushing is using a soft-bristled toothbrush. This, along with a gentle hand, can clean away plaque and bacteria without accidentally cleaning away enamel.
A Night Guard
Unintentionally grinding your teeth while you sleep can wear down enamel and even cause a tooth to break. As your teeth wear down, they become filled with plaque which can lead to inflammation and, eventually, gum disease. Therefore, it may be beneficial to visit your dentist and ask about a nightguard. By wearing this while you sleep, your teeth have a protective layer that keeps them from clenching and grinding together. Although this will not solve the sensitivity, it will can help reduce the chances of it becoming worse.
A Gum Graft
Surgical treatments, such as gum graft, are sometimes recommended to the patient. Gum grafts most are common if the gum around the root of a patient’s tooth has lost tissue. For this treatment, tissue from somewhere else in the mouth is collected and applied to the affected area. This will cover any exposed roots, eliminating the chance of sensitivity.
Avoid Highly Acidic Foods
Highly acidic foods can contribute to tooth sensitivity by softening enamel that is later rinsed or brushed away. Drinks such as soda and wine, or foods such as lemon and grapefruits all-cause enamel decay. Reducing these kinds of food and drink in your diet is key to preventing sensitivity. Choosing less acidic foods help your teeth by reducing the breakdown of enamel and the weakening of the gum line.
A Root Canal
If other treatments are not effective, dentists may recommend a root canal as the only alternative to pulling a tooth. A root canal procedure is done when the soft tissue inside the canals of a tooth’s root becomes infected. Root canals may have a bad reputation but are highly effective as it removes the nerves in the tooth.
What Treats Can I Enjoy In The Summer Without Encouraging It?
As mentioned above, highly acidic foods are a major contributor to tooth sensitivity. However, the Summer is full of opportunities for treats like popsicles and fruity, sugary beverages! To help satisfy your snacking cravings without worsening tooth sensitivity, check out this Stroud Certified list! Our team has put together this list of treats that you and your teeth can enjoy all summer long!
Low Acidic Snacks
- Raw vegetables with hummus or nut butter.
- Avocado and Corn Chips.
- Low Acidic Fruits — Apples and bananas.
- Seeds and Nuts.
- Watermelon Popsicles
- Cut watermelon into pieces, put those pieces on a stick and then put everything in the freezer!
- Blueberry Yogurt Balls
- Dip blueberries in vanilla greek yogurt and put them in the freezer. Perfect as a snack on the go!
Proper oral hygiene is key to preventing tooth sensitivity. Yet, even with a good hygienic routine, nighttime grinding or an accidentally cracked tooth can cause sensitivity. If you have any questions about tooth sensitivity or would like to make an appointment, contact us today! Call us today and book an appointment that fits your schedule, or follow us on social media!.
From the whole team at Stroud Dental, have a safe and sensitivity-free Summer!