How to Deal with Tooth Sensitivity

sensitive teethApex, Raleigh, NC

Do you find yourself avoiding hot, cold or sweet foods and beverages because consuming them causes your teeth to hurt? If so, it’s time to talk about sensitive teeth …

Sensitive teeth could have many causes, some of which may be able to be addressed at home. Since thinning tooth enamel is a primary culprit for sensitive teeth, it’s important to take care of the enamel. Tooth enamel is the protective layer on the outside of teeth that helps protect the dentin that’s located underneath. Dentin is sensitive to temperature and touch, and thinning enamel allows those sensations to reach the dentin and nerves, causing irritation and pain.

If you’re looking for solutions and tips to care for tooth enamel and deal with sensitive teeth, follow these suggestions from our periodontists in the Apex area:

Use toothpaste for sensitive teeth

Some toothpaste is specifically created to help relieve symptoms of sensitive teeth. It works by filling tiny holes in the enamel with potassium nitrate, restoring the enamel over time. In some cases, sensitive toothpaste will have fewer ingredients than regular toothpaste, eliminating any abrasives or sugars that would come into contact with the exposed nerves in the teeth.

Brush softer

Aggressive toothbrushing or brushing teeth with a stiff-bristled toothbrush can lead to further damage and more microscopic holes in the enamel, worsening a case of sensitive teeth. Try brushing gently with a soft bristle toothbrush instead.

Watch your diet

Sugar is not good for enamel, and hot beverages like coffee and tea or cold snacks like popsicles might make sensitive teeth worse. Acidic foods like tomato sauce and pickles can also irritate sensitive teeth. Any foods or beverages that both sensitive teeth may need to be minimally consumed or avoided altogether if they’re too bothersome.

Use a mouthguard at night

Sensitive teeth can be caused or worsened by Bruxism, or teeth grinding and clenching, which often happens during sleep. Our periodontal dentists in Cary can make impressions of teeth to create a custom, comfortable mouthguard to wear at night during sleep. Mouthguards help prevent the pressure from teeth grinding and any resulting tooth damage.

 Visit the dentist

It’s important to ensure gums are not receding, which can aggravate sensitive teeth. If gum tissue is being brushed off from aggressive brushing, for instance, it starts to expose part of the tooth below the gum line that doesn’t have enamel. This leaves the teeth’s nerves exposed. Gum disease is a serious condition that needs to be treated by a dentist. Your dentist can examine your gums to make sure they’re in good shape.

Periodontist in Cary, Apex, and Raleigh, North Carolina

Sensitive teeth can sometimes be managed at home. But if your sensitive teeth don’t improve by changing your toothpaste and toothbrush, call our Raleigh periodontists at Triangle Periodontics. We can quickly determine the root cause of tooth sensitivity and help you create an action plan to address it. Give us a call at (919) 782-9536, or contact us online to request an appointment today.