I scream, you scream, we all scream from ice cream!
Those aren’t the correct words to the song, but if you are one of the over 3 million Americans who suffer from tooth sensitivity to cold or tooth sensitivity to sweets, you may be cringing at the thought of the sugary treat. Talking to your dental professionals should be first on your to-do list for finding a solution for your tooth sensitivity, but here’s some information in the meantime.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity can come and go with time, and is usually caused by exposed dentin on root areas from gum disease and/or receded gums. Unlike the crowns of your teeth, the root area of your tooth isn’t protected by enamel, but rather cementum. When the enamel or cementum wears away the nerves within the tooth are exposed which can cause tooth sensitivity. Common causes of erosion include:
- Overzealous teeth brushing
- Use of abrasive toothpaste
- An acidic diet
- Acid reflux disease
- Excessive teeth whitening
- Teeth grinding
- Dry mouth
The good news? Sensitive teeth can be treated!
How to Treat Tooth Sensitivity
Talk to your dentist about any tooth pain or tooth sensitivity to cold, hot, acidic or sweet drinks or foods. Tooth decay and cavities should be ruled out or treated. Your dentist may recommend an ADA approved desensitizing toothpaste or fluoride gel toothpaste for use at home. With more severe cases of tooth sensitivity, a filling, a gum graft or a root canal may be required.
You may even want to consider dietary changes, such as eliminating high-sugar soda, fruit juices and alcohol from your daily intake. And of course, you’ll need to keep up with good oral care routines to prevent future problems.