As a child, you ate and drank whatever you wanted with no problems. You savored freezing ice-cream in the summer and steaming cocoa in the winter without ever experiencing a moment's pain. But since you've gotten older, you may have started to suffer from shooting spasms in some of your teeth when they were exposed to anything very hot or cold. Even chilly air can cause you discomfort. While this problem is very common, it is not untreatable. Once you understand why sensitivity occurs, you can take a number of actions to minimize the pain in your teeth.
Why Does It Hurt?
Teeth are made of a soft tissue called dentin on the inside and a protective layer of enamel on the outside. When the enamel decays or begins to wear away, the dentin is exposed and you may begin to experience pain or sensitivity. Gum recession caused by disease, infection, or poor brushing exposes the roots of your teeth and leads to sensitivity. Enamel can also be eroded by the frequent consumption of acidic foods such as lemons and tomatoes or by acid reflux and excessive vomiting. Beverages with high sugar content can also erode enamel.
1. Keeping the Pain at Bay
While tooth enamel does not regenerate itself, you can still take action to keep the sensitivity from becoming more severe by using the tips below.
- Brush gently with a soft-bristled brush, holding the toothbrush at a forty-five degree angle. Make small circular motions with the brush, or use an electric toothbrush.
- Always rinse your mouth with water after eating and try to avoid acidic foods and drinks. Starchy foods that contain acid wear away tooth enamel the same way that carbonated soft drinks and sports drinks do. Read food labels and look for PH levels over 7 to ensure you are ingesting foods that are not too acidic.
- If you clench or grind your teeth while sleeping, wear a mouth guard to prevent further erosion of your enamel.
- Go to a dentist like Auburn Plaza Family Dentistry and have your teeth cleaned and checked every six months so that any new gum recession or decay can be caught.
2. Treating the Pain
- Use special toothpastes that desensitize the nerves when applied regularly.
- Ask your dentist for a fluoride gel treatment to strengthen the enamel you still have.
- Look into surgical gum grafts, root canal treatments, crowns, and other restorative tooth procedures.
Since eating and drinking provide so much pleasure, it is a shame to have those pastimes ruined by annoying tooth sensitivity. If you watch what you eat and maintain good oral hygiene, you will be able to fully enjoy your favorite foods for many more years to come.Share