Having sensitive teeth can be difficult. You may experience waves of pain or discomfort each time you eat or drink something cold, such as ice cream, or something hot, such as coffee. Still, dental sensitivity can be minimized through proper measures. Here is a bit of information about dental sensitivity and how the discomfort associated with the condition can be lessened.
Why does dental sensitivity occur?
Dental sensitivity is often due to exposure of the tubules within the dentin of your teeth to hot or cold stimuli. Each of your teeth is made up of several layers. The outermost layer, which is seen when you smile or speak, is called the enamel. This protective layer helps prevent stimulation from hot and cold items from reaching your dental nerves. However, due to age, decay or exposure to acids, your tooth enamel can wear away in places on the tooth. As the enamel is removed, the underlying dentin layer is exposed.
The dentin contains tiny tunnel-like structures called tubules, which transfer stimuli to the dental nerves. With the tubules unprotected by the enamel, the dental nerves may become overstimulated, causing dental sensitivity.
Things You Can Do to Help Alleviate Dental Sensitivity
Here are a few things you can do to lessen the discomfort of sensitive teeth:
Use toothpaste that is designated for sensitive teeth.
There are multiple kinds of toothpaste that are specially made for sensitive teeth. Many of these products include potassium nitrate, which is a compound used to make the teeth less sensitive. Potassium nitrate helps block the tubules within the dentin to lessen the amount of stimulation that reaches the dental nerves.
If you decide to use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth, be sure to use it regularly. Desensitizing toothpaste tends to become more effective with regular use.
In addition, it is important for the toothpaste to include fluoride to help remineralize weakened tooth enamel. Fluoride works by combining with displaced minerals in the mouth, such as phosphorus and calcium, to create a new tooth enamel that is less damaged by acid exposure.
Don't brush with too much force.
When you brush your teeth, be sure to only use gentle force. Brushing with too much vigor can result in damaged tooth enamel and exposed dentin.
Wear a mouthguard at night.
As you sleep, you may be suffering from episodes of teeth grinding. When this occurs, the teeth of the top and bottom palates rub against each other with enough force to wear away your tooth enamel, revealing the dentin underneath. A mouthguard can place a protective barrier between the chewing surfaces of the top and bottom teeth to prevent damage.
To learn more ways to deal with dental sensitivity, schedule an appointment with a dentist at offices like Highland Dental in your local area.
I have never liked my teeth. I had a lot of dental problems, including deep staining and oddly shaped teeth. Every tooth did not have the same shape, and some were rounded while others were more square. Not surprisingly, I never smiled in pictures and not even much in real life. This left people thinking I was mean before they even met me. My dentist told me my best bet to improve the look of my smile was a set of porcelain dental veneers. He said they could make all my teeth white and the same shape. I said I wanted them without any hesitation, and we scheduled my procedures. I love my new teeth, and they really did change my life. I created this blog to help other people living with teeth they don't like realize that they do have options that can improve their smiles and their lives.