It’s another hot one this year — and there’s nothing better than a big popsicle on a steamy summer day in Florida, right? Unless, of course, you’re dealing with tooth sensitivity. Many people experience discomfort when consuming hot or cold foods and beverages. If that sounds like you, too, your dentist in Jacksonville wants you to know there’s something you can do about it!
Why Does Tooth Sensitivity Occur?
A tooth’s crown, or its visible portion, is made up of the outer white enamel, which covers a soft inner layer of dentin. Dentin is covered in small tubules with a nerve at each end. When your teeth are at their healthiest, the soft inner layer of dentin is protected by sturdy tooth enamel. But if the enamel is worn away as a result of aggressive tooth brushing, acidic foods and beverages, or any other factor, the nerve endings are exposed to all the things that make you say “ouch.”
Some of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity include:
- Brushing too forcefully, especially with a hard bristled brush
- Consuming lots of acidic foods and beverages
- Nighttime teeth grinding (the condition known as bruxism)
- Gum recession that leaves the tooth root exposed
- Some procedures may cause temporary sensitivity, like teeth whitening or a filling
What To Do About Tooth Sensitivity
You can do something about your sensitive teeth. Schedule an appointment with your dentist to find out what’s causing the discomfort. We will put together an action plan to help get you out of pain! We may also recommend a topical fluoride treatment to remineralize and strengthen the tooth enamel.
If your tooth sensitivity is the result of worn enamel related to nighttime teeth grinding, your dentist may recommend a customized night guard for bruxism. It works by creating a protective layer between your upper and lower jaw, reducing the damage done by repeated teeth grinding and jaw clenching.
Gum recession that leaves the tooth’s roots exposed may require a periodontal procedure to cover up the recessed area. Your periodontist in Jacksonville provides expert gum grafting at Jacksonville Dental Specialists.
Modifying your diet can also reduce sensitivity if you consume lots of carbonated beverages or acidic foods.
Brushing for Sensitivity
How you brush your teeth may make a difference in your sensitivity levels. Clean in gentle, circular motions rather than hard back to back strokes, which wear away at the tooth enamel. Use a soft bristled brush, and choose a toothpaste that contains fluoride. The mineral will strengthen the tooth enamel for reduced discomfort — even better if it’s an anti-sensitivity formula. This type of toothpaste contains potassium nitrate, which blocks tubules in the dentin so sensation never makes it to the nerve ending.
Do You Need Help for Sensitive Teeth?
If you are suffering as a result of tooth sensitivity, it’s time to do something about it. Visiting your prosthodontist in Jacksonville is the first step! Request an appointment at Jacksonville Dental Specialists today.