How to Handle Sensitive Teeth

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If you experience tooth sensitivity, there is help on the horizon! Dentin is the layer under the tooth’s enamel containing microscopic tubules filled with nerve endings. In a healthy tooth, the enamel in a crown protects the more sensitive layer of dentin underneath while cementum protects dentin that reaches below the crown to the roots. For people who have tooth sensitivity, the dentin has been exposed. This is why you feel pain when you eat or drink something that is hot, cold, sticky and sugary or acidic, or from inhaling cold air by your mouth.

What Your Dentist Can Do:
Since plaque and tartar build up can cause gum disease–which can make the gums recede and expose dentin–you will want to visit your dentist twice a year to clean those pearly whites. Additional options your dentist may offer include:

–Dentin sealers on exposed roots.
–Fluoride varnish on exposed roots.
–Composite resins, or white filling (bonding) to cover exposed root surfaces.

What You Can Do:

Acid: Limit consumption of acidic foods and beverages like soda, tea with lemon, citrus fruits, and pickles.

Toothbrush: Clean your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently, but thoroughly. Take time to floss in between your teeth, where your toothbrush can’t reach.

Toothpaste: Resist using an abrasive toothpaste. Instead, brush with a desensitizing toothpaste to block off the nerve endings in exposed dentin. If it has fluoride in it this can strengthen enamel as well.

Mouthwash: Rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash to fortify tooth enamel and reducing painful sensations.

Bruxism: Wear a night guard if you grind your teeth while you sleep.

Don’t let tooth sensitivity prevent you from feeling your best. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled dentists, Dr. Ronald Hauptman and Dr. Bahar Rowhani, please reach out to our dental team at 703-241-0666 today!