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Treating Sensitive Teeth

By Dr. Aastha Chandra

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SENSITIVE TEETH – CAUSES AND REMEDIES

What Is Teeth Sensitivity?

Teeth Sensitivity is discomfort that is triggered by hot, cold, sweet or sour foods and drinks, or even by breathing cold air. Pain can be sharp, sudden and shoot deep into tooth nerve endings. This happens when the enamel, which is the protective layer of the tooth, gets worn out due to various reasons.

What Causes Sensitivity Of Teeth?

1. Brushing Too Hard :- Side-to-side brushing right at the gum line can erode enamel fast. You should use a soft-bristled brush and work at a 45 degree angle to your gum to keep enamel clean and strong. You can use your toothbrush in circular movements or use an electronic toothbrush to avoide any undue damage to the gums and teeth.

2. Acidic Foods & Drinks :-  Soda, sticky candy, high-sugar carbs; all of these treats attack the enamel. Instead, snack on:

  • Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables
  • Cheese
  • Milk
  • Plain yogurt

These will moisten your mouth and help fight acid and bacteria that can eat away at your teeth. Saliva is one way your mouth deals with them.

You can also drink green or black tea or chew sugarless gum. If you do eat something acidic, don’t rush to brush. Wait an hour or so to strengthen before you scrub.

3. Clenching Teeth :- Sometimes grinding your teeth over a period of time can wear away the enamel causing sensitivity. Avoid/ address stress to reduce clenching. Clenching can also be avoided by wearing a splint or a mouth guard.

4. Gum Recession :- This can occur either naturally due to age or it could happen due to the deposition of plaque and tartar. Getting a regular scaling and polishing helps in preventing gum recession.

5. Cracked Tooth Or Filling :- A cracked tooth or filling can lead to sensitivity or pain depending on the proximity of the crack to the underlying pulp. The tooth needs immediate attention in such cases.

6. Mouthwash Use :- Long-term use of some mouthwashes. Some over-the-counter mouthwashes contain acids that can worsen tooth sensitivity, if you have exposed dentin.

How Do You Treat Sensivitity Of Teeth?

  • Toothpaste For Sensitive Teeth :-  After several applications, desensitizing toothpaste can help reduce pain associated with sensitive teeth.
  • Fluoride Gel :-  Apply fluoride to the sensitive areas of your teeth to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce pain. 
  • Desensitising Or Bonding :- Occasionally, exposed root surfaces can be treated by applying bonding resin to the sensitive root surfaces.
  • Mouthguard :- Protect your teeth, in case you grind or clench.
  • Gum Grafting :- If your tooth root has lost gum tissue, a small amount of gum tissue can be taken from elsewhere in your mouth and attached to the affected site. This can protect exposed roots and reduce sensitivity.

In all, lead a happy, stress free, healthy life and watch what you eat and drink. Otherwise keep making regular visits to your favorite dentist to keep healthy, pain free teeth.

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