A sensitive tooth is not a pleasant feeling. It feels like a toothache, and you assume it is a toothache. If you have an honest dentist, he will tell you that you have sensitive teeth or tooth and give you suggestions to help your situation. On the other hand, you can have a dentist that will immediately set you up with a root canal, and the expense that goes will it. This happened to me. Only after my teeth kept hurting, and the request by the dentist to do another root canal, that I decided that it was time to look for another dentist. Through a neighbor’s referral, I found a dentist that was honest. He told me that I did not need a root canal, and what I had was sensitive teeth.
After that uncomfortable and expensive lesson, I decided to do additional research on tooth sensitivity, its causes, as well as how to desensitize my teeth. I hope this information will keep money in your pocket, and maybe help you to determine if you have sensitive teeth as well.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
There are many causes for sensitive teeth. If you were like me, you never heard of such a thing. And, let me tell you, if you're ignorant of the fact, unscrupulous dentists can take you for an expensive ride, with root canals, or even pulling your tooth. So, know the facts before you open your mouth and your pocketbook.
1. Many people enlist the aid of mouthwash to maintain that fresh breath. If you are one of these conscious individuals, you could be setting yourself up for sensitive teeth. Why? Some mouthwashes contain acids that make already sensitive teeth worse. But you can still have that fresh breath smell by using a neutral fluoride rinse.
2. Food that are acid-rich, like tomatoes, fruit drinks and citrus can erode the protective enamel on your teeth. Once the enamel erodes the vulnerable dentin beneath is exposed, and pain results. To help to neutralize these acid rich foods or drinks, try eating a piece of cheese or a glass of milk after eating.
3. Some toothpaste can cause sensitive teeth. It has been learned that tooth whiteners and toothpastes that have peroxide-based bleaching solutions can cause sensitive teeth. However, the sensitivity will go away once you stop using the product.
4. Receding gums are where the roots of your teeth contain thousands of tiny tubes that lead to the nerve center of your tooth. Usually the roots of your teeth are hidden under the protective gum tissue. However, when the gums begin to pull away from the teeth it leaves the roots exposed. And, along with the exposure, comes the ultra-sensitive.
5. Using a hard toothbrush or brushing your teeth too hard can cause sensitive teeth. You may think that by using a hard toothbrush or by brushing your teeth harder, it will get your teeth cleaner. In fact, your good intentions may be doing your teeth harm. A hard toothbrush or hard brushing can eventually cause the roots of your teeth to become exposed, causing the gums to recede. Moreover, receding gums will expose dentin. Once there are holes in the dentin, it will allow hot, cold and sweet food to stimulate tooth nerves, and pain.
6. Dental Work. Recent dental work can cause your teeth to be sensitive. Be it teeth cleanings, replacement crowns, tooth restorations or root canals. Know that, in the short term, your tooth will be sensitive to hot and cold.
7. Cracked teeth can cause sensitivity. When a tooth is cracked, the nerves can become irritated when chewing rubs the cracked tooth pieces together. In addition, the crack can fill with bacteria, lead to inflammation and cause even more pain, and possibly a cavity.
8. Grinding or Clenching your teeth can lead to sensitive teeth. You can wear away tooth enamel by grinding or clenching your teeth. It can be an unconscious act when sleeping or awake, leaving the nerves of your teeth exposed. A mouth guard is one method of keeping your teeth from wearing down.
9. A cavity will cause sensitivity to your teeth. Eating right, good oral hygiene, and regular dentist visits can help battle against cavities.
Ways to Desensitize your Teeth
Are there ways to desensitize your teeth? Yes, and it is not even very expensive. Once you know you have sensitive teeth, you can incorporate the following in your daily living routine.
1. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and do not brush hard.
2. Use desensitized toothpaste like Sensodyne. I found that it took about a week before the sensitivity in my teeth began to decrease. However, if you decide to use regular toothpaste in between the times you are using Sensodyne, the pain will reappear. This means, if you want the pain to stay away, it is best to use only the desensitized toothpaste on a regular basis.
3. Use a neutralized fluoride mouth rinse. If you are not sure what to use, ask your dentist.
4. If you grind your teeth at night, use a mouth guard. As my husband would attest too, it does work.
5. If your teeth are sensitive and you do need a cavity filled, a crown, a root canal, or even your six-month cleanings, know that you will have sensitivity after the procedure. My dentist suggested that I take ibuprofen to relieve the pain and inflammation. It does help. Also, realize, it may take 4 to 6 weeks for the nerves to quiet down. In addition, place a layer of Sensodyne on the tooth that was worked on, and leave it sit on the tooth for 20 minutes. This should be done twice a day, until the pain subsides.
6. If you eat something that is acidity, like tomatoes or orange juice, after eating wash your mouth out with water to clear the acid. If you don't you'll find that your teeth will begin to hurt from the acid. In this case, you will have to put a layer of Sensodyne on the tooth area and let it sit for 20 minutes, twice a day, until the pain subsides.
Sensitive teeth may be a condition that you have to deal with for the rest of your life, or at least, as long as you have your teeth. Know the facts, and yes, you can have relief from the pain of sensitive teeth, without a root canal. That's if, you know the facts, and your dentist is honest with you.