If you avoid hot or cold beverages because they hurt your teeth, you may be dealing with sensitive teeth. This common dental condition can be caused by tooth decay, worn filings or tooth enamel, or exposed roots. While you should definitely go see your dentist asap to handle this issue, here are a few tips and tricks on how to care for sensitive teeth.
Dealing with sensitive teeth
Proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing tooth sensitivity. Your tooth enamel, the hard, protective layer over your teeth can wear down, causing your nerve endings to be exposed and result in that pain you feel when eating ice cream or even exposing your smile to the cold air.
The type of treatment will depend on the cause but could consist of using desensitizing toothpaste or fluoride gel, applying a surgical gum graft in cases where gum tissue has been lost from the root, and a root canal or application of a crown, inlay or bonding.
However, if you’re already experiencing discomfort there are a few things you can do to care for sensitive teeth:
Don’t brush too hard
Brushing your teeth with too much strength can cause your enamel to fade away faster, especially if you’re used to brushing right at the gum line. A soft-bristled brush and working around a 45-degree angle to your gums is the proper way to brush your teeth and care for your enamel.
Avoid problematic foods
Acidic and sugary foods or drinks are the ones that cause the most damage to tooth enamel. Soda, carbs high in sugar, or sticky candy are best to be avoided. Instead, snack on fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, plain yogurt or drink green or black tea. These will moisten your mouth and help produce more saliva, which in turn flushes away the acid and bacteria eating at your teeth.
Take a break from bleaching
Bleaching treatments can cause temporary sensitivity. If it persists or becomes too much, talk to your dentist about to figure out how the treatment may be affecting you and whether or not you should keep with it.
How to alleviate the pain
The best way to care for sensitive teeth is to go straight to your dentist’s office and handle the problem from its root, but there are a few home remedies you can use to alleviate the pain and discomfort in the meantime.
Salt water or green tea rinses can help reduce the pain, since both lower inflammation and salt act as an effective antiseptic.
It all comes down to oral hygiene
The best way to care for sensitive teeth is to go to the root of the issue and take proper care of your oral health.
As we mentioned earlier, sensitive teeth are simply the symptom of something else going on beneath the surface like cavities or fractured teeth, and gum disease or a worn tooth enamel. All can be prevented and alleviated by taking proper care of your oral health and visiting your dentist frequently, so that any situations can be caught before they’ve gotten too far.