Tooth sensitivity is the sharp pain and nagging discomfort you feel in your teeth when you expose them to certain stimuli. It is a serious problem that if not treated right and on time, it might become threatening to the overall health of the person. The degree of pain you feel varies depending on how damaged the tooth is and what exactly is the problem that causes the tooth sensitivity. It can be temporary or constant and strong or mild. If it is a sharp sensation of pain, don’t hesitate to make an appointment at the dentist’s. The sooner you have your teeth checked, the sooner the dentist can pinpoint the problem and help you. On the other hand, if what you are experiencing is a mild sensation of pain and discomfort, you can take care of it at home. Here is how.
First, why does tooth sensitivity happen?
Tooth sensitivity happens when your teeth come in contact with acidic, cold, hot and sweet foods and beverages as well as cold air or dental instruments because the enamel of the tooth has worn out and the dentil is exposed. To make it clearer, every tooth has enamel which is the white surface we can see, and it serves as a protective layer. Underneath it, there is the dentin in which the root of the tooth is located. In the dentin, there are thousands of nerve endings that once become exposed to the before mention foods and drinks; they send the reaction to the brain which processes them a sharp pain and discomfort.
What causes tooth sensitivity?
As said before, the most common cause of tooth sensitivity is a worn-out enamel. Then, tooth erosion, which happens because of the consumption of acidic foods and beverages, is another common trigger. Next, are the tooth decay, worn, leaky fillings and broken teeth, all of which expose the dentin to the outside. Worth mentioning is the gum recession which leaves the root surface out in the open. Furthermore, grinding your teeth at night is another factor as well as the dental procedures that create post dental treatment sensitivity. These dental treatments are usually crowns, fillings and bleaching of the teeth.
What to do to get rid of tooth sensitivity at home?
There are several home remedies that can help you get rid of the pain and strengthen the protective layer of your teeth, along with some over-the-counter products. Here are the best working ones.
1. Use Desensitising Toothpaste
Probably, the most important one to begin with. You should use desensitizing toothpaste which blocks the pain coming from sensitive teeth. The way this type of toothpaste works is by blocking off the nerve endings in the exposed dentin. Such is the Opalescence toothpaste that has low-abrasion fluoride and helps reduce painful sensitivity to cold, heat, acids, sweets or contact and has a whitening ingredient that makes the teeth up to two shades whiter. There are many more kinds of toothpaste like this one hat you can purchase from the nearest chemist’s.
2. Avoid Acidic and Sweet Foods and Beverages
As these kinds of foods and beverages are one of the triggers of tooth sensitivity, you should avoid their consumption. In this group belong soda, sticky candy and high-sugar carbs. Instead, you should consume more fiber-rich fruits and veggies, cheese, milk, and plain yogurt.
3. Do Oil Pulling
Probably, one of the oldest home remedies that were used by Indian people in the past when the pharmacy wasn’t developed and ready-made products were not invented yet. Oil pulling is done with sesame or coconut oil which people should be swishing around the mouth for several minutes and then spit it out. There was research that showed that this Ayurvedic practice reduces the symptoms of gingivitis which is a type of gum disease. Knowing that gum diseases are one of the causes of tooth sensitivity, you can use this practice to prevent it from happening.
4. Brush and Floss Gently
If you brush your teeth aggressively can seriously harm the enamel. Don’t think that is you press too hard and do the brushing quickly you will clean the teeth faster. No, you will only cause damage. Therefore, do it gently, for several minutes using a soft-bristled brush and tending to every tooth from all sides. Also, floss carefully and make sure you don’t irritate the gums because itching and redness will appear which later can transform into a more severe problem.
5. Stop Grinding Your Teeth
Grinding the teeth can wear away the tooth enamel, as stated before. So, the result will be sore and sensitive teeth the next day. To prevent this, use a mouthguard. You can get one from your dentist or buy one at the chemists.