To a lot of people, the thought of enjoying a delicious bowl of ice cream on a hot summer day or a warm beverage on a cold winter day can sound amazing. However, to a person suffering from tooth sensitivity, these delicious treats can make them cringe. A person suffering from tooth sensitivity may find themselves avoiding certain foods and limiting themselves on the treats they enjoy.
At Paris Family Dental we hear from many patients who suffer from tooth sensitivity. In fact, according to the Academy of General Dentistry, roughly 40 million adults experience some form of tooth sensitivity. However, we want all our patients to know that tooth sensitivity can be treated and they can once again enjoy hot and cold foods without hesitation.
What’s Causing the Problem?
To help understand what causes tooth sensitivity, it’s important to first understand the anatomy of the tooth. Inside everyone’s tooth is a material called dentin. Dentin contains microscopic fluid-filled tubules that reach where numerous nerve endings are located. The hard outer layer of the tooth that protects the dentin and nerves is known as enamel and cementum (the area by the roots).
If enamel and cementum are kept strong and healthy it can effectively protect dentin from exposure. However, unfortunately, over time, enamel and cementum can break down leaving the dentin exposed and the nerve endings more susceptible to hot/cold. Dentin and nerve exposure is what causes a tooth to become sensitive.
There are many factors that can lead to tooth sensitivity. Some of these factors include:
* tobacco use
* grinding or clenching teeth at night
* brushing teeth aggressively
* using a hard bristle toothbrush
* poor dental hygiene
* tooth decay
* eating acidic foods
* receding gums
* cracked or fractured teeth
How Can a Person Improve The Problem?
The first thing a person should do to help reduce their tooth sensitivity is to see their dentist! The best way to reduce tooth sensitivity is to find the cause. At Paris Family Dental we focus on the cause of the sensitivity and then work to treat that cause. Some of the treatment options we recommend for tooth sensitivity include:
* Trying a desensitizing toothpaste. Desensitizing toothpaste works in two different ways. First, they block the tubules in the dentin which helps protect the nerve ends from being exposed. They also work to numb the teeth, so that a person doesn’t register the pain or sensitivity they feel.
* If clenching or grinding is the issue our dentist may recommend a nightguard.
* Switching to a soft-bristled brush. Brushing aggressively or using a hard-bristle brush may cause the enamel to wear away. It doesn’t take much force to get the plaque off.
* Remember to practice good oral hygiene. The most frequent cause of tooth sensitivity is gum disease and tooth decay.
* Schedule semi-annual check-ups.
* Maintain a healthy diet. Diets that are rich in dairy products and vegetables are best for maintaining strong enamel. Excess sugar and carbohydrates can speed enamel erosion.
* Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can also help maintain proper oral health and can help rinse away debris from teeth.
If you or someone you know is suffering from tooth sensitivity call Paris Family Dental today. For all of your family, cosmetic, or restorative dental needs, we invite you to contact our Paris Texas office. Call us today to schedule your appointment at (903) 732-0061! Visit us at 2333 Lamar Ave, Paris, TX 75460 to learn more about our team, our practice, and how we provide excellence in dentistry in our area.