When your protective tooth enamel wears down, the layer of dentin underneath is exposed. Dentin can also become exposed on the surface of a tooth root once the gums start receding. Each tubule that makes up dentin is connected to a nerve ending within the center of the tooth, and they are incredibly sensitive. When hot or cold stimuli touch these exposed tubules, they create a pain response in our teeth. The best way to prevent temperature-sensitive teeth is to do what you can to keep enamel strong and gums healthy. If you already have sensitive teeth, there are also a few things you can do to alleviate your discomfort. The four methods below can help temperature-sensitive teeth.
Use Desensitizing Toothpaste
Wherever toothpaste is sold, you can find a toothpaste designed to relieve the pain of temperature-sensitive teeth. These kinds of toothpaste contain ingredients that block sensations from the dentinal tubules from reaching the nerve. These kinds of toothpaste have different active ingredients, so if one doesn’t work, you can try another. If no store-bought desensitizing toothpaste works, you can ask your dentist for prescription-only desensitizing toothpaste.
This toothpaste takes a little while to take effect, so don’t expect results immediately. Once you experience relief, you can use this unique toothpaste just once a day.
Change Your Brushing Technique
People can scrub at their teeth so hard that they damage their enamel. However, it’s not too late to adjust your brushing technique to slow down the damage to your temperature-sensitive teeth. You can change your brushing technique by:
- Remembering to replace your brush every three months. After that, the bristles may no longer be effective.
- Make sure to brush well: place the bristles onto the area where the gums meet your teeth at a 45-degree angle. Then, make small, gentle circles.
The next time your teeth feel temperature-sensitive, try being a little gentler during your brushing routine.
Use a Mouthguard
Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is a common condition where people unconsciously grind their teeth together and wear away at the enamel. If you don’t think you grind your teeth, you may still be grinding your teeth while you sleep! If you think you experience sleep bruxism, your temperature-sensitive teeth may coincide with neck, jaw, or tooth pain in the morning. If you believe you have sleep bruxism, considering using a mouthguard while you sleep. This guard will protect your enamel while you sleep.
Avoid Acidic Food and Drinks
Acidic food and drinks harm your enamel, leaving you with temperature-sensitive teeth. Soda, fruit juice, tomato sauce, and other foods leave behind acid that eats away at your enamel. The more worn down your enamel is, the more vulnerable it is to acidic damage. When you feel you have temperature-sensitive teeth, consider cutting down on highly-acidic foods and make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day to remove any lingering acid.
Keep Your Smile Healthy with Affinity
While these tips can help with some tooth and gum sensitivity issues, we know the best way of correcting the problem is to visit your dentist regularly. Affinity Dental, located in Catonsville, MD, has six dentists and provides a variety of services from pediatric dentistry to orthodontics. Affinity Dental is capable of meeting all your needs. With 170 combined years of treating a variety of dental needs, Affinity is committed to providing quality dental care. To get your teeth back into good health and make your smile bright, call us at 410-719-7900 or contact us online. For other useful tips on dental care follow us on Facebook and Twitter.