Does the thought of meeting friends for a warm beverage appeal to you? How about meeting them for cold foods? Does the thought of either of these activities make you hesitant? If you’ve ever found yourself reluctant to cold foods, or warm beverages we’ve got news for you. Tooth sensitivity is a common complaint we hear about. In fact, according to the Academy of General Dentistry roughly 40 million adults experience it.
What’s Causing the Problem?
To help understand what’s causing the problem, we need to step back and examine the anatomy of the tooth. The inside of the tooth is made up of a material called dentin. Dentin contains microscopic fluid-filled tubules that reach to where numerous nerve endings are located. The dentin layer is covered by a hard outer layer known as enamel and cementum (the area by the roots). Over time, enamel and cementum can break down leaving the dentin exposed and the nerve endings more susceptible to hot/cold. The combined effect is known as tooth sensitivity.
Tooth sensitivity can also develop from additional factors. For instance, tobacco use, grinding your teeth at night, brushing your teeth aggressively and poor dental hygiene are all potential causes for tooth sensitivity.
How Can I Improve The Problem?
The first thing to do is to come see your dentist! Once the cause of your tooth sensitivity is determined we can immediately begin working to correct the problem. One simple solution to ease tooth sensitivity is to try a desensitizing toothpaste. These toothpastes are specially formulated to work in two different ways. First, they block the tubules in the dentin which helps protect the nerve ends from being exposed. The second way they work is to numb your teeth, so that you don’t register the pain or sensitivity you feel. With how common sensitivity is, you can buy desensitizing toothpaste in many stores!
Notice if during the day you clench your teeth. If so, be conscious of this problem and try to avoid doing it. If you grind your teeth at night your dentist can recommend a nightguard.
Remember to practice good oral hygiene. The most frequent cause of tooth sensitivity is gum disease and tooth decay. Schedule semiannual check-ups. Switch 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.
Finally, maintain a healthy diet. One that is rich in dairy products and vegetables. Excess sugar and carbohydrates can speed enamel erosion. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help maintain proper oral health.
For all of your family, cosmetic or restorative dental needs, we invite you to contact Paris Family Dental. 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.