Does cold water make you wince? Does ice cream hurt your front teeth? Does cold air make you to cover your mouth with your hand…. and keep it there?
Sensitivity comes from deep within the tooth, in the dentin that lies beneath the enamel. Dentin contains tiny, water-filled tubules that connect to the nerve. When your enamel wears away and the dentin is exposed, it triggers pain. So people with damaged enamel — caused by excessive brushing, acid erosion and overly-abrasive toothpastes are more likely to have sensitive teeth. People who have their roots exposed due to recession or gum disease also experience the same sensitivity. Whitening products, which temporarily dry out the teeth, also make it worse.
What can you do?
1. Brush gently with an extra soft toothbrush: We have found that toothbrushes that are NOT extra soft/soft (or sensitive) can cause tooth abrasion over time. Be thorough yet gentle and don’t scrub. Please make sure plaque is removed because plaque makes acid and acid makes the teeth sensitive.
2. Use a non abrasive toothpaste: Generally toothpastes with extra ingredients such as tartar control are MORE abrasive. Abrasives scratch the surface of your enamel and wear your teeth (and expose that sensitive dentin) over time.
3. Avoid excess acidic foods: Acidic foods can cause enamel erosion/destruction and expose sensitive dentin. For example, sports drinks, lemons, and soft drinks are very acidic.
4. Be aware of possible acid reflux: Stomach acid can damage teeth if it pools while you sleep. Do you wake up with a bad taste in your mouth? Does your stomach bother you? Please let your dentist know if you experience these symptoms.
What can we do to help you?
1. Prescription fluoride! We can prescribe extra strength products such as Duraphat toothpaste and flouride gel or rinse. The prescription strength fluoride hardens your enamel, making it more resistant to sensitivity.
2. MI paste: This amazing paste is used after you have cleaned your teeth. It uses an ingredient called amorphous calcium phosphate which slowly builds new enamel or repairs damaged enamel and ends sensitivity.
3. In surgery desensitizing treatments. We have easy paint on fluoride varnishes and treatments that can help your sensitive teeth feel better. Your dentist or hygienist can discuss these options with you.
Soon enough you can have your ice cream pain free! Just don’t forget to brush!