Soothe Sensitive Teeth
Best Ways For Soothing Sensitive Teeth
Tooth sensitivity to certain foods; especially very cold or hot ones, is not something you have to suffer through. It may shock you to know that over 40 million American adults suffer from this painful condition, but there are a number of fairly simple ways to soothe sensitive teeth. With any luck, the information below will have you hanging out with Ben and Jerry again in no time!
What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
Before you can begin to try and soothe sensitive teeth, it's important to know exactly why you are suffering in the first place. The sharp pain you feel when eating certain foods is caused by extremely sensitive nerves found way down inside your teeth. Dentin, a porous tissue, shields and protects your nerves, and are themselves protected by your gums and enamel. In sensitive teeth, tubules (microscopic holes) form in the dentin and allow whatever you put in your mouth to hit those sensitive nerves. The nerve endings then trigger that excruciating pain that let you to put the kibosh on your frozen dessert.
Begin with Brushing Habits
One incredibly simple way to begin helping yourself end the pain in your mouth is to switch to a toothpaste that is specially formulated for sensitive teeth. These pastes include specific ingredients that are proven to reduce sensitivity. Fluoride and potassium nitrate soothe sensitive teeth by blocking the pain signals that travel from the nerves to the brain. Also look for toothpastes that include stabilized stannous fluoride, which takes a different approach in reducing sensitivity. By blocking the tubules that have formed in the dentin, this ingredient keeps everything from ever hitting the nerves.
Along with changing your paste, also ease up when you brush your teeth. For some reason, people believe that you have to vigorously scrub your teeth to get them clean, but the opposite is actually true. Brush your teeth gently with a soft bristled toothbrush to keep from damaging your gums. Don't know if you are brushing too hard? Just take a look at your toothbrush; if you replace it often (and you should), and the bristles are always pushed outwards, you are definitely pushing too hard.
While your ice cream should not cause you to suffer, there are highly acidic foods that you can cut out of your diet to help you teeth. Soda, sour candy, certain citrus juices, and pickles have acid contents so high that they can actually erode the enamel on your teeth. If you absolutely cannot live without these things, be sure to rinse your mouth out with warm water after you eat or drink them.
Conquer Your Fear of the Dentist
While some people faint at the mere mention of the dentist, it's important to schedule routine check-ups and cleanings. Soothing sensitive teeth may not always be something you can do on your own; sometimes there is a deeper underlying cause. Common problems include tooth decay, grinding your teeth, or even receding gums; none of which you can treat yourself, and all of which need immediate attention. Discussing problems with your dentist could also lead you to find that your problem simple and that for you, there is a quick fix to soothe sensitive teeth.
Soothe Sensitive Teeth
Updated December 7, 2011
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