Sensitive teeth can be painful, and if it goes untreated for long enough, can even begin to interfere with your life and comfort. Teeth can be sensitive to hot or cold food and beverages, sugary candy, or even air touching teeth can cause pain. In most cases, this is because the enamel of your teeth has worn down, exposing the tooth's sensitive nerve endings.
Managing Tooth Sensitivity
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce tooth sensitivity. These include the following:
The best, most cost-effective place to start is by switching to toothpaste made specifically for sensitive teeth. It doesn't matter which brand you choose, but make sure to check for the active ingredient Potassium Nitrate, which helps to block these nerve endings.
Consider sealants. Sealants are made of clear liquid resin or plastic, which is then painted onto the teeth, forming a protective barrier, especially for the back molars. Sealants are very effective but wear off over time, so they will eventually need to be reapplied.
You could be brushing too vigorously, which can wear away the enamel protecting your teeth. Try going a little gentler with your toothbrush and make it has soft bristles.
Avoid acidic beverages. Food or drinks that are too acidic can wreak havoc on the tooth enamel. These include juice, soda, red wine, and even pickles. If you do eat acidic foods, make sure you're brushing right after eating them, so the acid doesn't have a chance to attack the enamel.
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Dr. Preston Polson has been practicing dentistry for over 15 years. Dr. Polson received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Colorado and completed a one-year Hospital based General Practice Residency in Burlington, Vermont. Dr. Polson continues to receive advanced training in restorative, cosmetic, implant, and reconstructive dentistry in an effort to provide each patient with the highest quality dental care possible.