According to a study published in the Journal of American Dentistry, about one in eight people have sensitive teeth. If you are one of those people, then you know what can happen when you eat or drink something that is hot, cold, sweet or acidic—you get a painful sensation that can last anywhere from a few moments to several minutes. The good news is that there are steps you can take to diminish or prevent tooth sensitivity. Read on to find out what Houston dentist Dr. Mark Gray recommends.
- More often than not, sensitive teeth are the result of vigorous brushing with a toothbrush that has hard bristles. Make sure your brush has soft bristles and that you brush gently.
- Use desensitizing toothpaste. There are a number of these sold over-the-counter. Each contains ingredients that help block the signal of pain to the nerve of your tooth.
- Use mouthwash with fluoride. After you brush, rinse with a fluoride mouthwash. The additional fluoride can help strengthen tooth enamel, which is your tooth’s hard outer surface.
- Avoid acidic foods and beverages. Soda, citrus juices and citrus fruits are highly acidic and can wear away enamel, making your teeth more susceptible to sensitivity as well as decay. Have these with a meal and wait at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth.
- Hold the whitening. Teeth whitening, whether at-home or in the office, has a tendency to make teeth more sensitive temporarily. If you already have sensitive teeth, then you may want to wait until the condition improves.
- Wear a mouthguard. If you grind and clench your teeth, then you may be wearing down tooth enamel, which can lead to sensitivity. We can prescribe a mouthguard that you’ll wear at night while you sleep when most teeth grinding occurs. And because teeth grinding is closely associated to stress, you may want to add exercise, yoga or meditation to your lifestyle.
- Protective barriers. If your teeth are severely sensitive, then consider tooth restorations that can provide a permanent barrier between your teeth and the things that cause sensitivity. In Houston, dental crowns, inlays, onlays and cosmetic bonding can all help protect your teeth. For extreme cases, a gum graft procedure or root canal may be necessary.
Call Your Houston Dentist Today
Sensitive teeth can be a sign of another condition that requires treatment, such as a fractured tooth, a worn filling, receding gums or gum disease. Contact Houston dentist Dr. Gray to schedule an appointment, so we can help relieve your tooth sensitivity and treat any underlying problem.