Tooth sensitivity is becoming a common problem for many adults. Estimates suggest that about 40 million people have sensitive teeth in the US. That’s over 12% of the total population.
While mild sensitivity can be easily tackled with simple home remedies, serious issues will require dedicated tooth sensitivity treatment. We’ll explain both options in this blog, but first, let’s understand the causes of teeth sensitivity.
How Sensitive Teeth Occurs
Tooth sensitivity occurs when tiny microscopic tubes located below the enamel (the uppermost layer of the tooth crown) are exposed, then suddenly stimulated by temperature changes from hot or cold food, water, other beverages, and even air.
The wearing of enamel, or/and the gum recession causes the dentin to get exposed. As a result, the microscopic dentin tubules located below the enamel gets exposed which causes tooth sensitivity.
Following are the causes that may get your dentin exposed:
- Gum recession due to age or tooth brushing harshly
- Brushing with an abrasive toothpaste, or brushing more than three times a day
- Common acidic drinks such as soda, lemon and orange juice, etc., can cause enamel erosion and dentin exposure
“As little as one glass of soda drink per day can cause enamel erosion and dentin exposure,
according to National Institute of Health (NIH).
- Genetic factors, responsible for susceptibility to gum disease (resulting in gum recession) in about 30% of the population
- Fracture or decay of the tooth causing the dentin to get exposed
- Tooth grinding, causing enamel erosion and leaves the dentin exposed
How to Treat Sensitive Teeth
Tooth sensitivity isn’t just a usual thing as many would consider it, rather it can be a sign of a serious dental problem, like gum recession. However, if you take care of it from time-to-time and follow some precautionary measures, it should never transform into a serious issue.
When you start feeling teeth sensitivity pain, try these at-home remedies for instant relaxation:
- Change your brushing style: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and place it at 45-degree angle (half on the gum and half on the teeth) to help reduce abrasion to your tooth surface and irritation to your gums
- Use desensitizing toothpaste: Use toothpaste that’s high on fluoride and potassium nitrate, and marked with low Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA)
- Reduce acidic food consumption: Avoid eatables and drinkables that are high on acid (such as burgers, sausages, soda, lime juice, etc.) to stop further erosion of enamel
- Get rid of tobacco and smoking: Completely cut tobacco consumption and smoking cigarette for obvious reasons
- Use fluoride for mouthwash: Using fluoridated mouthwash can help by anesthetizing the dentin tubules and coating your enamel with reinforcing materials
- Use mouth guard at night: If you cannot help at teeth grinding or clenching, use a mouth guard at night to avoid the abrasive force
- Maintain good oral hygiene: Continue with your regular brushing and flossing techniques to keep your oral hygiene maintained
If sensitivity persists for more than 4-5 days, it’s better that you talk to your dentist. Your dentist may proceed with one of the following treatment options, as recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA):
Note: The treatment option will depend on the cause of tooth sensitivity.
- Fluoride gel: In non-serious cases, your dentist might apply fluoride gel to the sensitive area to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce pain, and also suggest prescription fluoride at home
- Dental crown, or bonding: If sensitivity is due to a structural flaw, or decay, the dentist may apply dental crown or bonding to restore the structure or eliminate the decay
- Gum graft surgery If gum tissue has been lost from the root, this will protect the root and reduce sensitivity
- Root canal treatment: If sensitivity is because of a badly decayed or infected tooth, your dentist may recommend root canal to eliminate the problem
Tooth Sensitivity – Important FAQs
Can coconut oil help sensitive teeth?
Ans. Clove oil contains a powerful anesthetic agent called Eugenol that has a numbing effect on the gums. Maybe that’s why some people report reduced teeth sensitivity after using oil pulling with a mix of oils that also contain clove oil. However, there is no proof yet to validate the effect of oil pulling on sensitive teeth.
Do sealants help sensitive teeth?
Ans. As sealants cover the exposed area of the root, they can surely block exposure to the causes of sensitive teeth.
Which Toothpaste is the Best for Sensitive Teeth?
Ans. The best toothpaste for sensitive teeth can be ones that contain fluoride ingredient. Fluoride contains minerals that help in patching microscopic holes in your enamel, restoring your enamel health and reducing tooth sensitivity. Look for the seal of acceptance by the American Dental Association when buying toothpaste for your sensitive teeth.
How Reign Dental Can Help
Have tooth sensitivity? If yes, look no further! Contact Reign Dental office near you today. Experts at our offices will diagnose your tooth sensitivity problem using the state-of-the-art equipment and then create a customized treatment plan for you that fits your dental needs.
Reign Dental is one of the most sought after dental care providers in Seattle area to offer complete dental care. We are among a few dental clinics that provide a wide range of dentistry services including oral & maxillofacial surgery, TMJ treatment, Botox, orthodontics, periodontics and all other advanced dental solutions. Highly professional dentists working with us specialize in dental implants, bone grafting, smile makeover and oral surgery. We are well-known for our safe and patient-specific care approach. We offer affordable and quality dental care services. We make sure that our customers walk out of our clinic with a big beautiful smile.