Many people have sensitive teeth. In fact, millions of people experience discomfort or even pain from eating their favourite foods and drinking their favourite drinks. However, in the majority of cases, there is a lot that can be done to ‘desensitivize’ sensitive teeth.
Sensitive teeth most often cause pain when people eat or drink something very cold like ice cream, iced lemonade or a cold beer. However, some people experience the problem when they eat hot foods too. Some even get trouble when they breathe cold air. These examples of pain from sensitive teeth usually come from a partially exposed tooth nerve.
If this is due to cavities, then the pain is to a large extent, self-inflicted, because everyone should visit a dentist twice a year for a check up and pre-emptive or corrective work.
Sometimes, however the problem lies with the fact that the gums are receding which occurs naturally as we get older. The receding gums reveal the lower parts of the teeth and thus the roots as well.
In this case, the pain essentially occurs because the exposed root has tubules which run to your nerves. Any pressure on these will be fed to the nerves resulting in pain.
Remedial action is difficult, pre-emptive action is not. Unfortunately, many people were taught how to brush their teeth quite badly. For decades, children were taught to scrub at their teeth to get them clean, but a side effect of that harsh brush work, is to gradually push the gums back off your teeth. It may take decades, but it is likely to happen and this will result in sensitive teeth.
Current guidance is to brush lightly and never towards your gums, always away from them. Modern tooth pastes are so much better than they were decades ago, so they do not need so much help to get your teeth clean.
If, however, you are in the sad position of already having sensitive teeth, there may still be something you can do about it. Potassium nitrite will help ‘desensitivize’ your teeth, so you should look for a tooth paste that contains this chemical. It can be found in several preparations for sensitive teeth including Sensodyne tooth paste, which is recommended by dentists for this task all over the world.
Another thing you can try is using mouth wash containing fluoride. There are dozens of them in any pharmacy, so you will have to try a few until you find one that works for you. A couple of tips are to first test the brands of mouth wash that contain high levels of fluoride and brands that do not contain alcohol. Some seem to burn your mouth, but others do not.
If these recommendations have no effect, then you are incredibly unlucky and there is nothing for it but to go to the dentist. A dentist deals with sensitive teeth every working day and there are new products coming onto the market all the time, so go along to your dental surgery and let them sort out your sensitive teeth.
Owen Jones, the author of this piece writes on several topics, but is currently involved with investigating britesmile teeth whitening. If you would like to know more or check out great offers, please go to our website at Opalescence Tooth Whitening Systems
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