Mmm, you’re about to bite into that tasty bowl of ice cream, when BAM! You’re hit with a hefty dose of pain. The ache in your teeth is nearly unbearable. Meanwhile, the ice cream you were looking forward to has turned into a pile of mush.
If you suffer from tooth sensitivity, then you know how negatively it can impact your life. Simple routine pleasures like a cup of hot tea in the morning often have to be given up. Sometimes just breathing in cool, crisp air can make you cringe.
Tooth sensitivity is a common problem that affects half the adults in the United States. Fortunately, this annoying and painful problem is also easy to treat.
Tooth sensitivity is caused by the movement of fluid within the microscopic channels located in the dentin of the teeth. Dentin is the layer of tissue found beneath the tooth’s hard enamel. These channels run to the nerve center of the tooth, called the pulp.
When the tooth’s hard enamel is worn down or the gums have receded, these channels are exposed, and pain and sensitivity occurs.
The biggest culprit for tooth sensitivity is periodontal disease (gum disease). According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 2 American adults has periodontal disease by age 30.
Other factors that cause tooth sensitivity are acid reflux and bulimia, which erode the enamel.
Worn fillings and fractured teeth – often caused by teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism) – also cause sensitivity.
Indulging in too much acid-containing food and drink can put your teeth at risk for sensitivity. These include things like citrus juices, pickles, fruits, and colas.
If you whiten your teeth, this could also be playing a role in your tooth sensitivity.
1. Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
Save that hard-bristled toothbrush for cleaning the grout in your shower! Your teeth need the TLC from a soft-bristled toothbrush. And by all means, be gentle! Vigorous brushing doesn’t make the teeth any cleaner … it can actually damage the teeth and gums, making your tooth sensitivity even worse!
How can you tell if you’re brushing too hard? Take a look at your toothbrush. Are the bristles pointing every which way? That’s your answer.
2. Decrease Acid
Decrease all those acid-inducing foods from your diet, particularly the sodas, which don’t do the body any favors anyway! Need more reasons to kick your soda habit? Here are 22 of them!
3. Kick Your Toothpaste to the Curb
Certain toothpastes are simply too tough on sensitive teeth. Ingredients found in some whitening toothpastes can increase sensitivity. Sodium pyrophosphate, a main ingredient in tartar-control toothpaste, can also increase tooth sensitivity.
You’ll want to use a low-abrasion toothpaste specifically made for sensitive teeth when you brush. This will help protect the enamel of the tooth surface and avoid exposing the dentin.
4. Take Care of Your Oral Health
Prevent periodontal disease (a leading cause of sensitive teeth) by brushing twice a day, flossing at least once a day (preferably before bedtime) and keeping your regularly scheduled dentist appointments.
5. Use a Desensitizing Tooth Gel
Using a gel for sensitive teeth can be a lifestyle game changer for those with sensitive teeth. (Ice cream, here we come!) It’s easy, inexpensive, and the fastest way to get the relief you seek.
Oxyfresh Fluoride Dental Gel: This dentist-recommended desensitizing gel will strengthen your tooth enamel, significantly decrease your tooth sensitivity, and give you cavity-fighting protection. Aloe vera soothes the gum tissue, and Oxygene® (our exclusive, non-toxic odor-fighting ingredient) will neutralize bad breath and boost your gum health. USA-made, non-staining fluoride formula, and flavored with natural essential oils. Easy to apply and easy to add to your lifestyle! More information...
Super Relief Dental Gel: If you have sore gums, abrasions or canker sores along with sensitive teeth, Super Relief Dental Gel can give you the soothing relief you need. It’s formulated with healing ingredients like folic acid, Aloe vera and spearmint. Plus Zinc and Oxygene® for powerful deodorizing action. A favorite product for relief post dental-surgery. USA-made and sweetened with xylitol, a natural ingredient shown to inhibit plaque buildup. More information...
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