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Are you finding it difficult to enjoy your morning cup of coffee or a bowl of ice cream because you experience a sharp pain in your teeth? You could be among the 3 million people per year who suffer from tooth sensitivity. This is a common problem that can significantly decrease your quality of life. However, with certain changes at home and with help from your dentist, you can reduce the discomfort and get back to enjoying your favorite foods.
Why are My Teeth Sensitive?
Tooth sensitivity can often occur after having a dental procedure performed, like a root canal or teeth whitening treatment. However, the issue is often short lived and subsides within a few days.
In some cases, the sensitivity can seem to appear without any warning and may progressively get worse over time. When this occurs, it is often due to an underlying issue, like weakened or thinned enamel.
The sensitivity develops when the microscopic tubes within the dentin of the tooth become exposed due to the loss of enamel. It naturally becomes thinner as you age; however, consuming acidic foods and drinks frequently, using abrasive dental products, brushing too hard, or grinding of the teeth can accelerate the issue.
Tooth sensitivity can also be caused from the roots of the teeth becoming exposed due to the recession of gum tissue. This is often a result of overbrushing or gum disease.
How Can I Reduce the Sensitivity?
To help combat the discomfort, it is best to schedule an appointment with your dentist to find the underlying cause of the issue. In the meantime, Susan Karabin, president of the American Academy of Periodontology and an associate clinical professor at Columbia University recommends that you, “brush gently and avoid acidic foods and drinks, including citrus fruits and juices, wine (especially white), and all sodas (especially light-colored ones flavored with citric acid). Even unflavored carbonated water is slightly acidic and can cause tooth sensitivity.”
Making changes to your home oral hygiene habits can also give you a reduction in symptoms. It is often recommended to use a toothpaste that caters to tooth sensitivity. Often, you can begin to see an improvement in about two weeks.
However, in some cases, you may need a treatment from your dentist to resolve the issue, such as a fluoride varnish or gum grafting to help ease the symptoms.
Stop Living with Tooth Sensitivity
If you can no longer enjoy your favorite foods, you do not have to live with the sensitivity. Your dentist can help you get the relief you need with a customized treatment plan at your next preventive appointment.
About Elmbrook Family Dental, S.C.
Elmbrook Family Dental, S.C. holds the highest standard for care when creating healthy, beautiful smiles. With tailored treatment plans, we help patients reach their oral health goals while improving their quality of life. If you are suffering from tooth sensitivity, contact our office today to discuss your treatment options. We will help you get the relief you need.