It’s never a good thing to leave your dentist’s office feeling like the treatment they just recommended may not be entirely necessary. This frequently leaves patients wondering if they should...
According to the Journal of American Dentistry, roughly 1 in 8 adults suffer from sensitive teeth. Most assume that their sensitivity stems from lousy genetics or bad luck; however, this typically isn’t the case. Specific factors often trigger tooth sensitivity, and it’s not an irreversible condition.
There are simple actions that you can take to not only relieve tooth sensitivity at home but to prevent it from affecting your life altogether.
Common Factors That Contribute To Tooth Sensitivity
Your teeth are coated with an outer protective layer called enamel. When the enamel on the surface of your teeth wears down, your teeth become susceptible to foods and beverages that are hot, cold, sweet, and acidic. The irritated underlying nerves cause shock sensations to radiate through a tooth for minutes or hours, depending on the level of sensitivity. Specific actions may trigger your sensitivity, including:
- Improper brushing
- Periodontal disease
- Tooth decay
- Exposed roots at the gumline
- Aggressive brushing
- Wearing away of the enamel
If your tooth sensitivity is the result of tooth decay, disease, or a dental issue, you should make an appointment with your dentist to discuss your options for finding relief. However, if your problems are habit-based or even hereditary, you may be able to treat your tooth sensitivity at home with these simple tricks.
Brush With a Desensitizing Toothpaste
Many dentists recommend patients experiencing sensitivity to brush with a desensitizing toothpaste. This specially-designed toothpaste contains compounds that help to shield nerve endings from irritants. The most active ingredient is potassium nitrate, which is a compound that blocks pain signals traveling from a nerve in your tooth to your brain. After a few uses, your tooth sensitivity should begin to diminish.
Rinse with Salt Water
To alleviate pain symptoms from tooth sensitivity, salt is a common household item that can help to reduce inflammation thanks to its natural antiseptic qualities. Gargling with a saltwater rinse twice a day will help to give your teeth relief while rinsing away harmful bacteria.
An effective saltwater rinse includes ½ to ¾ tsp of salt mixed into a glass of lukewarm water. Swish the mixed solution in your mouth for up to 30 seconds, and do not swallow the solution after use.
Incorporate a Fluoride Mouthwash
Incorporating an over-the-counter fluoride mouthwash can aid in strengthening your tooth’s enamel layer, which will help to protect against tooth sensitivity. Fluoride can also protect against tooth decay and cavities while remineralizing soft spots. Use fluoride mouthwash daily after brushing your teeth, and avoid eating or drinking for at least 30 minutes after use.
Skip At-Home Whitening Products
Both at-home whitening kits and in-office treatments can lead to tooth sensitivity. If you’re suffering from sensitivity after using whitening treatments, be sure to let your dentist know at your next exam. It is possible to achieve a whiter smile without using harsh bleaching compounds, and many at-home whitening brands have specially designed kits for those sensitive to whitening products.
Sleep With a Night Guard
If you grind your teeth at night while you sleep, it may be causing you to experience sensitivity without even realizing the cause. Teeth grinding can quickly wear away tooth enamel, causing teeth to feel sore and sensitive. A night guard can help keep you from grinding your teeth while sleeping. A night guard acts as a protective barrier between your teeth to protect your enamel. A custom night guard can be created for you by your dentist for a comfortable fit that won’t disrupt your sleep.
Talk To Your Dentist About In-Office Treatments
Are you still suffering from extreme tooth sensitivity? You may want to consider an in-office dental treatment. Gel fluoride treatments, crowns, inlays, or dental bonding can all help to cover sensitive areas on your teeth. For severe cases, you can also have a gum graft if the pain can’t be managed with simple remedies.
Contact Hoffman Dental Care today if you’re suffering from oversensitive teeth that can’t be remedied at home!