When you bite into a cold, crisp apple, do you experience a sudden, sharp tooth pain? Or feel a temporary pain when you sip hot tea or chocolate? You may be have sensitive teeth, which happens when over time your tooth enamel has eroded, exposing the dentin below.
What causes dentin hypersensitivity? This can happen over time as the enamel is eroded due to brushing too hard with a hard bristled toothbrush, gingivitis, periodontitis, and even excessive tooth whitening.
What can you do to lessen tooth sensitivity?
You can begin by buying a soft-bristled toothbrush and using gentle, circular motions instead of sawing back and forth on the tooth and gum line. Continue brushing twice a day, the less acid on your teeth the better for the exposed dentin.
Use a desensitizing toothpaste when you brush. These are available over the counter or you can talk to your dentist to have a one prescribed for you. Desensitizing toothpastes are one of the most effective products you can use to help your teeth.
Invest in a fluoridated mouthwash rinse. The fluoride acts as a protective coating for your sensitive teeth.
Avoid acidic foods like citrus, tomatoes, etc. that can further erode your teeth, and keep your mouth clean after eating high sugary or starchy foods. These create bacterial acids that erode your enamel. If you cannot brush after you eat or drink these foods, rinse your mouth with water (and remember, tap water has fluoride which helps your teeth!) or use sugarless chewing gum to stimulate saliva which washes away acids.
Above all, keep your scheduled dental cleanings so we can help you preserve your precious pearly whites! We are always happy to help. 425-385-8130.