Dental problems sometimes arise even after taking care to maintain healthy daily oral practices like brushing and flossing. These dental issues can range from minor irritation of the gums to a crippling ache that prevents you from performing simple tasks like brushing, drinking and eating. It’s important to address tooth sensitivity at its onset before it escalates into additional health and dental problems. At Peak Dental Arts, our experienced North Vancouver dentists will help you understand what’s causing your sensitivity and develop an effective treatment plan that works for you.
Ways To Effectively Manage Tooth Sensitivity
Here are the most effective ways to manage tooth sensitivity:
Use Desensitizing Toothpaste
Desensitizing toothpaste differs from conventional toothpaste because it contains potassium nitrate and stannous fluoride, which lessen sensitivity and shield nerves from unpleasant stimulation. These ingredients temporarily fill tiny holes in your enamel and dentin, reducing the exposure to your teeth’s sensitive nerves.
When using desensitizing toothpaste, use it the same way you would regular toothpaste and brush with it regularly for optimal effectiveness. You can also apply a small amount straight to your teeth on any particularly sensitive spots. You can buy a number of desensitizing formulas over the counter; however, it’s important to consult your North Vancouver dentist to find out which one may be ideal for you.
Brush Your Teeth With a Soft Toothbrush
Brushes with stiff bristles can exacerbate gum recession, exposing dentin and irritating sensitive nerves. Ones with soft bristles are less abrasive on dental enamel and can safeguard the dentin layer and nerves. Soft-bristled toothbrushes can also help you avoid over-scrubbing, which creates tiny tears or holes in your gums and teeth. Even with a soft toothbrush, brush using gentle strokes. Once you have the right toothbrush, change it roughly after every three months or when you notice the bristles beginning to look worn.
Make a Saltwater Mouthwash
Bacterial growth in the mouth can cause or exacerbate sore teeth by wearing down your enamel and exposing your dentin. Saltwater rinses can help with this and relieve pain from sensitive teeth, mouth sores and other dental problems. It accomplishes this by briefly raising the pH in your mouth and increasing alkalinity, creating an environment that inhibits bacterial growth.
To prepare a saltwater mouthwash at home, mix eight ounces of warm water with one teaspoon of table salt. Gargle the warm saltwater solution for 30 seconds at least twice daily – preferably in the morning and at night – for optimal benefits.
Avoid Foods and Beverages With Acid
Many processed and natural food items contain acidic components that erode tooth enamel over time and increase sensitivity. Some of these foods and beverages include:
- preserved foods
- tangerine fruits
- carbonated drinks
- sports beverages
- dried sticky fruits
- fruit juices
Avoiding acidic foods and beverages can help prevent sensitive teeth. You can also use a straw to limit the time your teeth spend in contact with acidic liquids. In addition, drinking water after consuming acidic foods and beverages balances the acid levels in your mouth. Not brushing your teeth immediately after ingesting acidic meals or beverages may also minimize dental sensitivity.
Ask Your North Vancouver Dentist About Coatings and Varnishes
Your dentist can use a variety of varnishes and other coatings to manage your sensitive teeth. These fluoride varnishes and coatings are applied directly onto your teeth and work by concealing any exposed dentine and strengthening the enamel. Your dentist can also recommend other bonding substances and plastic sealing coatings to reinforce enamel and dentin. Fluoride varnishes also make tooth structure healthier and more resistant to decay.
Wear a Mouthguard at Night
Grinding your teeth, also known as bruxism, can wear down your enamel, making your teeth more sensitive. Grinding your teeth regularly can also cause or worsen jaw problems, cause your teeth to become loose and change how your face looks. To manage this condition, talk to your dentist about getting fitted for a customized mouth guard to wear at night. While a mouthguard won’t stop you from grinding your teeth, it can minimize bruxism’s harmful effects.
Avoid Drinking Very Hot or Cold Liquids
To manage tooth sensitivity, stay away from very hot and cold liquids that can aggravate the nerves and cause short bursts of sharp pain. Try skipping the ice cubes in your water, and wait a few minutes for your tea to cool. You can also sip cold drinks using a paper or bamboo straw to reduce the likelihood of discomfort.
At Peak Dental Arts, we’re committed to providing our patients with exceptional dental care in a gentle, efficient and professional manner. The team in our North Vancouver dental clinic provides high-quality dental treatment to keep your teeth healthy.