No matter how you look at it, having sensitive teeth can really put a damper on things. That first cup of coffee right after you wake up? Forget it — it’ll literally set your teeth on edge. That late night scoop of Rocky Road you’re enjoying in front of the television after the kids go down for the night? No way — you’ll be crawling the walls in pain and discomfort.
There’s no denying that sensitive teeth can take even the simplest of pleasures and turn them into painful and frustrating experiences. Yet the truth is you don’t need to suffer from sensitive teeth problems. In fact, here’s what you can do to get some relief and start enjoying the simple things once more!
Change Your Toothpaste
Sensitive teeth are usually the result of dentin, one of the inner layers of the tooth, being exposed. Dentin transfers heat, cold, and other types of sensations very well — obviously too well — and that’s what causes that painful overload you experience. A good way to stop that process is to use a toothpaste that’s been specially formulated for sensitive teeth.
Many of these types of toothpaste contain potassium nitrate, which helps to block the ability of dentin to transfer sensations painfully deeper into your tooth. Switching to one of these toothpaste types — and brushing consistently with them — can help reduce that disruptive sensitivity. Just make sure you don’t brush too vigorously, or you could end up doing more harm than help!
Avoid Acidic Food and Drink
Dentin ends up getting exposed as teeth wear away. What wears teeth away faster than anything else? That’s right, acid — and foods that are naturally high in acid will contribute to this process, dissolving your tooth enamel over time and paving the way for potentially painful meals in the future.
Examples of acidic foods include citrus fruits like oranges, many different fruit juices, pickles, and soft drinks. Red wine is also highly acidic as well, so you might want to switch out that merlot for a muscato if you know what’s good for you. Brushing after eating acidic meals helps as well, but be sure to wait at least 20 minutes to ensure you don’t make things worse.
Talk to the Doc
Last but not least, make an appointment to see your family dentist. Now, nobody really relishes going to the dentist — decades of pop culture telling us dentists are sadists armed with electric drills hasn’t helped much here — but dental professionals literally deal with these types of issues all the time. They can help you find better ways to manage the pain of sensitive teeth in ways you might not have thought of.
There are, indeed, a number of ways for a dentist to make your sensitive teeth less of an issue. Temporary barriers made from fluoride or even plastic resin that last several months at a time can be painted on your teeth to provide an additional layer of protection. Enamel damage caused by grinding or clenching in your sleep can be rectified by a mouth guard.
Don’t Suffer Needlessly
Many people with sensitive teeth find themselves avoiding food or drink they enjoy in order to avoid the pain, but there’s no reason for you to do that, too. Whether it’s using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth, adjusting your brushing technique, staying away from acidic foods, or relying on help from your dentist, it’s entirely possible to get your sensitive teeth under control.
Don’t deny yourself the finer things. Take action today to tame those sensitive teeth and go back to enjoying life!