Though many of us enjoy ice cream and cold drinks, for people with sensitive teeth, a bowl of ice cream can be downright painful. The same can go for hot foods and drinks, too. The unpleasant, sharp pain that is associated with sensitive teeth is no picnic. But, with some simple, helpful tips and good oral health practices, you can decrease that sensitivity and go back to enjoying the foods you love.
What causes sensitive teeth?
“Tooth sensitivity to extreme temperatures is most often due to an exposed root surface,” says Dr. Euan Swan, manager of dental programs at the Canadian Dental Association (CDA). Sensitivity can also occur due to worn down tooth enamel due to acidic foods or clenching or grinding teeth. When the enamel is worn down, tiny canals called “tubules” allow temperature extremes to stimulate the nerves inside of the tooth – causing discomfort.
What can I do to reduce tooth sensitivity?
Taking care of your teeth is a simple tip to help reduce sensitivity. Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush, look for dental products with fluoride (which can help strengthen the surface of your teeth), and avoid acidic food and drinks, which can contribute to tooth erosion and sensitivity.
When it comes to toothpaste, there are a ton of options out there. If you have sensitive teeth, there are several options for desensitizing toothpaste. This type of toothpaste has compounds that help block those nerve transmissions from happening – people can usually feel a difference after about a week or so of use.
In many cases, your dentist may discuss a prescription-strength therapeutic toothpaste that is much more effective against sensitivity. It also has the added benefits of a prescription dose of fluoride and other ingredients which help re-mineralize small cavities, desensitize root surfaces, and make teeth more impervious to acids and decay.
The family dentists at Dakota Dental can help you with these dental health issues by providing you with regular cleanings, which is crucial for healthy teeth, and giving you tips and recommendations for desensitizing and therapeutic toothpaste and more. The team at Dakota Dental will work with you to help you achieve a healthy, pain-free smile!
Make an appointment with a dentist at Dakota Dental to keep up your regular preventative dental care and to discuss the best