How to prevent and manage tooth sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is an uncomfortable condition experienced by many people of all ages. It occurs when the protective layer of enamel on the teeth wears down and causes pain when it is exposed to a stimulus.
The Practice is very familiar with this common condition and our dentists are dedicated to helping our patients achieve a pain-free smile. If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, we’re here to help you understand the cause, how to prevent it and what management options are available.
What is tooth sensitivity? When does tooth sensitivity occur?
Tooth sensitivity is the result of erosion or damage to the protective outer layer of the tooth, known as enamel. When the enamel wears away or gets damaged, it exposes the underlying layer called dentin, leading to tooth sensitivity and heightened sensitivity to various sensations. Direct contact between the dentin and external stimuli can stimulate the nerves within the tooth, causing pain signals and resulting in discomfort.
Some causes of tooth sensitivity include;
- Acidic foods and drinks wear down enamel over time.
- Cracked or damaged teeth
- Tooth decay.
- Teeth grinding
- Brushing your teeth too hard.
- Teeth whitening toothpaste.
- Gum disease.
- Dental infections.
How to prevent tooth sensitivity
There are many things you can do to stop the discomfort and prevent tooth sensitivity. Some ways you can minimise the risk of developing tooth sensitivity include:
- Maintain good oral hygiene: To maintain good oral health it’s essential to brush your teeth twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Don’t brush too hard and floss daily.
- Use a toothpaste that is designed especially for sensitive teeth: These toothpastes include ingredients that help reduce sensitivity over time.
- Limit food and drink high in acid: Reduce your intake of food and drinks that contain acid, such as fruit juice and soft drink. Use a straw when possible and rinse your mouth with water when consuming these types of foods and drinks.
- Wear a mouthguard: If you grind your teeth, a custom mouthguard can help protect the tooth enamel.
- Visit your dentist regularly: 6-monthly dental check-ups can help identify any issues before they turn into serious problems.
How to manage tooth sensitivity
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, there are a few ways to minimise your discomfort:
- Brush your teeth twice a day.
- Use toothpaste that is designed for sensitive teeth.
- Avoid acidic foods.
- While you’re experiencing pain, avoid hot and cold food such as ice cream, hot coffee etc.
- Wear a custom mouthguard to protect your teeth if you experience bruxism (teeth grinding).
- Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash.
How can The Practice help with tooth sensitivity
The Practice dentists can help prevent and manage the discomfort of tooth sensitivity and minimise the impact it has on your life. Remember, prevention is the key to maintaining a pain-free smile. By practising good oral hygiene, limiting acidic food and drinks and regularly visiting your dentist, you can reduce tooth sensitivity.
If you’d like to make an appointment at our West End dental practice, call The Practice today at 07 3733 3223 or book an appointment online.