Say Goodbye to Sensitive Teeth

Dental CareIn our country, we have a curious admiration for people who try to act “tough.” We often admire athletes who “play through the pain,” helping their team achieve an epic victory.

The problem with this attitude is that it encourages behavior that is ultimately self-destructive. Pain is an alert system, and if something hurts, it needs to receive attention as soon as possible. Teeth that are sensitive to hot, cold or sweet items may have become that way due to several different types of underlying causes, and it’s important for your overall health to consult with your dental care team to determine what the issue is, so that it can be treated promptly and effectively.

Causes and dental care for sensitive teeth

If one tooth is sensitive. If your sensitivity seems to be concentrated in a single tooth, it’s possible you’re experiencing discomfort caused by tooth decay or a crack (even at the microscopic level) in the enamel surface of the tooth. Your dentist will examine your tooth and may recommend a filling or a crown to protect its structure.

If your teeth are experiencing overall sensitivity. If all or most of your teeth are sensitive, this could be due to a host of factors, ranging from teeth grinding (bruxism) or gum recession to a plaque buildup or brushing too hard with a stiff-bristled tooth brush. Your dentist may prescribe special desensitizing toothpaste and a fluoride-based mouthwash to treat the problem, or he or she may ask you to reduce the amount of highly acidic foods in your diet, such as marinara sauce or beverages high in citric acid.

If you recently whitened your teeth and they are now sensitive. While many patients enjoy the brighter smile that comes with whitened teeth, some people find the process itself can cause their teeth to become more sensitive. If this is the case for you, your dental care team can easily address this by recommending take-home whitening products and fluoride toothpastes containing agents that block sensitivity and maintain the brightness and luster of the whitening process.

“Sensitive teeth are a red flag that a dental care issue is present,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist in practice in central Phoenix. “See your dentist today to discover the cause and receive an effective treatment for this condition.”

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