10 Effective Ways to Manage Sensitive Teeth

‘A short, sharp, intense pain’ is the term most people use to describe the sensation in their mouth after eating or drinking anything hot or cold. The severe pain, although temporary, is just the beginning of a long story about tooth sensitivity. Everyone has experienced teeth sensitivity at one point – the symptoms could range from a mild sting to shooting pain. Tooth sensitivity, although uncomfortable, should be seen as a helpful warning sign that your teeth need help. Fortunately, these practical ways to manage tooth sensitivity will help you before it’s too late.

Let’s get to the bottom of tooth sensitivity and understand why our teeth become sensitive in the first place, the causes and finally, and dental care tips to manage tooth sensitivity.

Why Do Our Teeth Become Sensitive?

Knowing a little about our dental anatomy is essential to understand what causes tooth decay and sensitivity.

A tooth is made of three parts – the enamel, dentine and cementum.

The enamel is the outer layer of the teeth that helps keep the teeth safe from staining and damage.

The cementum is also a protective layer, but for the roots of your teeth, near the gums.

The dentine is a nerve-connected tissue present at the middle of your teeth, behind cementum and enamel. Dentine takes up a large portion of the tooth structure. Since dentine has several tiny holes running through to the nerve, every time the dentine is exposed, you are prone to experiencing sharp, intense pain.

What Are the Common Causes of Tooth sensitivity?

Get an oral exam to accurately determine the causes of tooth sensitivity. However, here are some common causes of tooth sensitivity you can take a look at:

Excessive brushing

Tooth decay and cavity

Certain foods, such as acidic, sweet, citric juices and sports drinks

Tooth whitening treatment

Gum conditions

Recent dental treatments

Tooth Grinding

Cold climate

Sinus

10 Effective Tips to Manage Dental Sensitivity

Although a dentist is the right person to suggest specific solutions for your sensitivity issues, these proven tips are effective in managing dental sensitivity to a large extent.

Use Desensitising/Sensitive Toothpaste

Using this toothpaste is one effective technique that could work wonders for your tooth sensitivity. A desensitising toothpaste is formulated using stannous fluoride and potassium nitrate – two ingredients known to reduce sensitivity by protecting the nerves from exposure. The market is filled with several desensitising toothpaste brands, but we suggest you seek your dentist’s advice before buying one.

Try a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush

Changing your toothbrush could also help alleviate tooth pain and sensitivity. When shopping for toothbrushes, pay close attention to the strength of the bristles. Pick the soft-bristled toothbrush that is less abrasive on your teeth and gums, and protect your enamel and dentine layer.

In addition to choosing a soft-bristled toothbrush, we suggest you choose a brush that is the right size for your mouth. Smaller toothbrushes might not offer you good mouth coverage and could leave parts of your teeth without oral care.

Avoid Foods that could aggravate sensitivity

A large percentage of people feel sharp pain or twinge when consuming certain types of food. Any foods that contain acidic ingredients can erode the enamel and expose the nerves and dentine layer. Some acidic foods include pickled foods, citrus foods, coffee, dried and sticky fruits, fruit juices, carbonated beverages and sports drinks.

Add Fluoride to your Daily Routine

Fluoride is an important natural mineral that helps develop strong and healthy teeth. It protects teeth against cavities and sensitivity. Adding fluoride to your daily routine can have a lot of positive impacts on your oral health.

Using fluoride water, grapes, tea, spinach, and baked potatoes can give you the daily dose of fluoride to your diet. Try to choose fluoride toothpaste to deal with dentine hypersensitivity. Additionally, ask your dentist for fluoride supplements to deal with extreme sensitivity.

Use a Saltwater mouthwash

Rinsing your mouth with the right amount of saltwater will help in keeping away germs, cavities and sensitivity. A saltwater mouthwash also helps deal with foul mouth odour and mouth sores by inhibiting bacterial growth. Make it a habit to use a mouthwash twice daily.

Try Coconut Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is an age-old technique of swishing a tablespoon full of coconut oil around your mouth. It helps sanitise your mouth, moisturise your gums, and increase saliva production. When you rinse your mouth with food-grade oil such as coconut oil, it helps pull out harmful bacteria, harsh toxins and prevent germs’ growth.

Try Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse

Hydrogen peroxide rinse is another technique that helps prevent bacterial growth and reduce teeth sensitivity. Hydrogen peroxide ensures gum health, prevents oral inflammation, sores and injury, whitens teeth, and increases general oral health. While hydrogen peroxide is a good rinsing agent for your teeth, make sure it doesn’t get in contact with your eyes and that you don’t swallow it.

Try a Night Mouthguard

A common cause of teeth hypersensitivity is excessive teeth grinding. Teeth grinding can cause you to lose tooth enamel, damage your jaws and gum health. When the enamel wears down, it exposes the nerve, which increases sensitivity. Get a mouth guard fitted to your specific need that will help you handle mouth grinding-induced hypersensitivity significantly.

Ask your dentist about effective treatments for dental sensitivity

If dental hypersensitivity is impacting the quality of your life, it is time to talk to your dentist about treatments that can hinder sensitivity. Treatments such as dental coating or varnishing put on a layer of protection on your teeth that helps in reducing oral sensitivity. When your dentist is varnishing your teeth, they are essentially applying dental fillings in small cracks or microscopic holes in your teeth – adding a coat of protection to your teeth.

Keep a regular dental appointment

Keeping regular dental appointments is the first step in preventing dental health issues. As a periodontal disease, teeth sensitivity is a serious issue that needs immediate attention. While not all forms of hypersensitivity are severe, it is always a good idea to regularly get your teeth checked by a qualified dental practitioner.

When it comes to teeth hypersensitivity, prevention, no doubt, is always better than cure. Maintaining a healthy diet, good oral hygiene, keeping note of your symptoms and keeping up regular dental visits will help prevent teeth hypersensitivity significantly.