Many people suffer from sensitive teeth. Taking a bite of cold ice cream or a sip of hot coffee brings pain instead of enjoyment. While sensitive teeth aren’t life-threatening, it could be a symptom of a more significant problem. Not only that, but it is discouraging not to eat what you want. Continually experiencing pain and complaining to your friends is annoying.
Because underlying issues such as cavities, gum disease, tooth erosion, and many others can cause sensitive teeth, scheduling an appointment with your dentist is always the first plan of attack. However, there are some home remedies and things you can do to alleviate sensitive teeth on your own while you wait.
Try a Different Toothbrush
Neglecting to brush your teeth leads to major dental issues. Brushing twice a day is the cornerstone of oral hygiene. But not all toothbrushes are the same. The type of toothbrush you use could have a big impact on how your mouth feels.
You may think a hard-bristled toothbrush is better at scrubbing plaque off of your teeth or getting into those hard-to-reach places. However, hard bristles are very abrasive. You do more harm than good when your toothbrush is too stiff. It removes enamel and can damage your gums.
Choosing a softer brush and brushing gently goes a long way toward helping with sensitive teeth. Don’t scrub your teeth the way you scrub a dirty floor. Deliberately brush around every tooth, ensuring that you clean your mouth without causing damage.
Avoid Acidic Food
The acidity in certain foods and drinks wear away at the enamel of your teeth. Coffee, citrus fruit, wine, and carbonated beverages have highly acidic properties that are terrible for your mouth. Cut back on these types of things to reduce damage to your teeth and gums and decrease sensitivity.
If you can’t cut these things out of your diet, consider using a straw to minimize contact with your teeth. Drinking milk or water after eating acidic food helps wash the acid off of your teeth and neutralize its effect.
Avoid brushing your teeth after eating or drinking something acidic, because the acid softens the enamel, eroding it and making it easier to brush away.
Wear a Mouth Guard
People who grind their teeth at night are more prone to tooth sensitivity. It’s a hard habit to break, especially with the stressors of daily life. Grinding your teeth wears down the enamel and leaves you sore, tense, and sensitive in the morning.
Obtain a mouth guard from your dentist to reduce grinding. The protective layer between your teeth decreases the amount of damage to your enamel. You can find mouth guards at your local pharmacy, or your dentist can appropriately fit you for a guard that suits the size and shape of your mouth.
Most of us use a back and forth motion to brush our teeth. However, this can cause gum recession and is the wrong way. Who knew?
Instead, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush in a circular motion. Make sure you don’t push too hard, exposing sensitive spots. A good indicator that you brush too hard is if the bristles of your brush are pressed against your teeth so hard that they splay in all different directions.
Be aware of your use of bleaching products. At-home whitening products have harsh ingredients, and they increase tooth sensitivity when used too often. You should only use these products once every six months.
If you just began experiencing tooth sensitivity and aren’t sure yet what is causing it, you can make these few small changes now to relieve some pain. Try brushing your teeth with warm water instead of cold or drinking beverages through a straw.
If the home remedies listed here don’t give you any relief, or you suffer from more extreme sensitivity, always consult your dentist. Some other things to inquire about are desensitizing toothpaste, fluoride treatments, gum grafts, or root canals.
The sooner you identify the root cause (see what I did there?), the sooner you will experience relief. Leaving tooth pain undiagnosed for too long can have severe consequences down the road. Often, sensitive teeth are a sign of an underlying issue. It’s your body’s way of telling you to pay attention.
If you are one of those unfortunate enough to have tooth pain, you may be causing it yourself and can take these steps to relieve it at home. There are plenty of inexpensive ways to help.
Author Bio – This guest post is a contribution of Paul Lee promoting Thankakit Dental Center.