Living with sensitive teeth can be uncomfortable. However, it is a somewhat common dental problem. In fact, your Elgin dentist recently read that nearly 40 percent of adults suffer from tooth sensitivity.
If you experience sensitivity on a regular or even occasional basis, understanding the reasons why may help you. Here’s what your Elgin dentist wants you to know about living with sensitive teeth.
Background on Tooth Sensitivity
Sensitive teeth usually develop over time. They occur when the dentin – the hard, calcium-based substance under the outer tooth enamel – is exposed. According to WebMD, exposure may occur when:
- You brush your teeth too hard and/or use a hard-bristle toothbrush.
- You regularly grind or clench your teeth, wearing down the enamel.
- Gums recede due to gingivitis, periodontal disease, plaque buildup, tooth decay, accidents, or brushing too hard.
- Cracked, chipped, or broken teeth fill with bacteria.
- Your enamel erodes due to long-term use of acidic mouthwash, high acidic foods such as citrus, and tooth whitening products.
Additionally, tooth sensitivity may occur after a visit to your Bartlett, IL, family dentist for procedures as simple as tooth cleaning. If this happens to you, it’s generally temporary. However, if you have continuing problems, notify your dentist.
Steps You Can Take to Reduce Tooth Sensitivity
Both hot and cold may trigger the sensitivity. Even a breath of fresh, cool air can set your sensitive teeth to tingling. So what can you do to limit your discomfort?
The best way to reduce tooth sensitivity is through good oral hygiene. Brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time. Floss at least once daily, using proper techniques, to ensure you clean your teeth without damaging your gums.
When you brush, use a soft-bristle brush to reduce gum irritation. Ask your Elgin dentist to recommend good toothpaste designed specifically for sensitive teeth. The best toothpaste and mouthwash are fluoridated.
See your St. Charles dentist at least once every six months. (More often if warranted.) Between visits, avoid excessive consumption of high-acidic and sugary foods.
For those who grind their teeth, wear a night guard when you sleep. If you’re unsure whether you grind (or clench) your teeth, talk to your Elgin area dentist. He can generally tell by looking at the level of wear and condition of your teeth.
Your dentist can help you with your tooth sensitivity. Fluoride, sealers, and bonding may help with exposed roots. Whatever you do, don’t go on suffering. Talk to your Elgin dentist and find the right solution for you.
David A. Rice, D.D.S.
1972 Larkin Ave Ste 1
Elgin, Illinois 60123