Sensitive teeth do not necessarily indicate a dental problem. If you tend to feel pain when eating or drinking hot or cold items, you may suffer from sensitivity. This condition is typically caused when the enamel – the hard outer tooth covering – is thin so the nerve-rich dentin beneath is more exposed to outside stimulation. Sensitivity happens naturally as you age since the enamel gets worn down, but it can also affect younger people. The following tips can help you overcome sensitivity.
Tip #1: Start With a Dental Visit
It's imperative that you visit the dentist with the issue before trying any other remedies. Although sensitivity is often tied to thinning enamel, you could also experience it if there is tooth damage or decay. Another common cause is gum recession. As your gums recede, often because of gum disease, more sensitive areas of the teeth are exposed. You will need to treat any of these underlying conditions before addressing the sensitivity.
Tip #2: Use the Right Toothpaste
A toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth contains desensitizing components that help numb the nerves in the dentin, thus cutting down on pain. These toothpastes usually need to be used consistently for them to work properly. Make sure you brush twice daily with one to help minimize your issues.
Tip #3: Be Patient
In some cases you can pinpoint the cause of the sensitivity. For example, if you recently had a lot of plaque removed from your teeth or underwent a whitening procedure, the newly exposed tooth surfaces may be sensitive for a few days to a few weeks. Minimize exposure to triggering foods and try using a desensitizing toothpaste until the pain goes away.
Tip #4: Cap Them
If your enamel is especially thin, veneers may be a good choice because they will create a barrier between the dentin and irritating food and drink. As an added benefit, the veneers will also create a more even and whiter smile. This can be a good option since the thinning enamel can cause the teeth to develop a yellowed appearance, or uneven gum recession can make your teeth look less than even. Your dentist will lightly roughen up the tooth surfaces and then attach the veneers with a special bonding agent. Veneers are permanent, but you care for them just like you would your natural teeth. Talk to a dentist, such as Aaron G Birch, DDS PC, to see if this is a good option for you.