Do you wince at the thought of eating an ice block or upon inhaling cold winter air?
If so, you may be one of the 30 million Americans experiencing tooth sensitivity. So what causes tooth sensitivity? At Curtis R. Couch in Thousand Oaks, we are committed to educating patients about their oral health. As such we have compiled the top 5 reasons why you may be experiencing tooth sensitivity and how you can alleviate your pain.
5 reasons why you may experience tooth sensitivity
1. Receding gums and gingivitis: When your gums start to recede, little slivers of the tooth’s root dentin becomes exposed. Once they are exposed it can cause increasingly sensitivity. When gum tissue becomes inflamed and weakened from gingivitis (gum disease), you may feel tooth sensitivity because more of the underlying dentine root surface is exposed. 2. Damage to your tooth enamel: If your protective enamel gets eroded and the dentin loses protection, this can cause tooth sensitivity. To reduce your risk of eroding tooth enamel, try and steer clear of acidic drinks such as tea, coffee, wine (both red and white), soda, and carbonated drinks. 3. Tooth grinding and clenching: When you grind or clench your teeth, this puts a lot of pressure on the gums, causing them to eventually recede and wears down the enamel of your teeth. For those experiencing jaw clenching and teeth grinding this is known as TMD or (Temporomandibular joint dysfunction) which comes with it a host of uncomfortable symptoms. A night guard can dramatically relieve your symptoms and prevent you from grinding your teeth and also headaches that are associated with TMD. 4. Brushing too hard: brushing too vigorously and with a hard-bristled toothbrush can eventually wear down your protective tooth enamel. These can also cause receding gums, causing further exposure of the dentine that leads to tooth sensitivity.
How to reduce tooth sensitivity
A fluoride rinse can help decrease sensitivity, especially for people with decay problems. Use it once a day. Swish it around in your mouth and spit it out. Follow a consistent oral hygiene program. Plaque, the white gummy substance that forms on teeth, produces an acid that irritates teeth, especially if your choppers are naturally sensitive. Wage a daily attack against plaque by brushing at least twice, preferably right after eating and especially before bed, and flossing at least once. Use a soft toothbrush. Often, people actually cause tooth sensitivity by brushing with too much force and/or brushing with a hard-bristled brush. Using a brush with the softest bristles apply a small amount of pressure when brushing (a lighter touch also allows the bristles to move more freely around the crevices of your teeth than when you press too firmly.
Professionally treat tooth sensitivity
To alleviate tooth sensitivity, it is important to receive professional advice to determine the exact cause of your tooth pain. At Curtis R. Couch, we can conduct an oral assessment to determine which treatment option is most suitable for you. At Curtis Couch DDS we know that prevention is always better than cure. Keeping your teeth for the rest of your life with minimal intervention is extremely important. Preventive care minimizes your risk of developing tooth decay and Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease). As such, it is essential to visit us every 6 months for your regular clean and examination to keep your oral health in check and to detect any potential problems before they worsen. For more information about our treatment options, or to book an appointment at our practice please do not hesitate to contact us.