Nearly 40 million American adults have sensitive teeth, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. It’s a very common problem that can keep people from enjoying the hot and cold foods they love. Your dentist in Rocky Mount understands how frustrating and painful having sensitive teeth can be. But what causes sensitive teeth… and is there anything you can do to reduce tooth sensitivity at home?
Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
There are any number of things that can cause tooth sensitivity, and it’s best to talk with your Rocky Mount dentist to determine the reason behind any sensitivity you may be experiencing. Some of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity include:
- Doing Too Much. There is such a thing as doing too much to care for your smile, and oftentimes, overdoing it can mean problems with tooth sensitivity. For example, brushing your teeth too hard or with a stiff-bristled brush can cause damage to tooth enamel and even the gums, both of which leave your nerves more exposed and put you at increased risk for sensitivity.
- Teeth Grinding. Chronic teeth grinders are not only more likely to have chipped or damaged teeth, they’re also more likely to have tooth sensitivity. Constantly grinding your teeth together quickly wears away enamel and exposes the tooth roots.
- Damaged Teeth. Teeth that have been damaged by either decay or have sustained chips or cracks can easily be the cause behind your sensitive teeth. Again, any damage to the enamel leaves nerves open to the elements, which can be painful.
- Gum Disease. Tooth sensitivity doesn’t necessarily only happen with eating or drinking hot or cold things. Sometimes, teeth are sensitive pretty much all of the time. If this is the case, there’s a good chance that gum disease is the cause.
How to Treat Sensitive Teeth
In order to figure out the best way to treat sensitive teeth, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Rocky Mount. In the meantime, try these at-home tips.
Avoid Trigger Foods
If your tooth sensitivity shows up or gets worse when you eat something hot or cold, try your best to avoid those foods or drinks until you can get treated by your dentist. Acidic foods and drinks can also cause sensitivity to flare up so be careful with things like citrus, wine, and even coffee.
Use a Soft Toothbrush
If your tooth sensitivity is fairly new, you may be able to reduce pain by switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush immediately. In fact, everyone should use a soft-bristled toothbrush to either help with tooth sensitivity or avoid it in the first place.
Try a New Toothpaste
There are a number of different kinds of toothpaste available that are formulated specifically for sensitive teeth. Look for a product that helps with sensitivity and has the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance.
If you suddenly notice tooth sensitivity, or have been battling with it for some time, schedule an appointment with your dentist. Your dental team can find out what’s causing your sensitivity and recommend the best way to treat it so you can get relief once and for all.