Many things can cause you severe tooth pain and sensitivity. Knowing how to stop tooth pain can be tricky…but here’s what you need to do in order to avoid the pain. First you have to understand how tooth sensitivity works.
How is Tooth Sensitivity Caused?
A tooth’s outer layer, its enamel, is its hardest part which protects the tooth above the gum line. If the gum line recedes through gingivitis, the inner layer, the dentin, becomes exposed because roots are not covered by enamel but by a layer called cementum which binds the tooth to the jaw. The roots contain thousands of tiny dentinal tubules which lead to the tooth’s innermost layer, the pulp, which holds the nerves and blood supply. The dentinal tubules let the hot, cold, and sweet sensations reach the nerve in your tooth, which produces the tooth pain you feel.
There are many factors that may lead to sensitive teeth including:
Tooth decay near the gum line: Periodically examine your teeth by lifting your lip and taking a look. A white spot near the gum line could be an early sign of decay. A dark spot could be a cavity or a stain.
Brushing too hard: Using a tooth brush that is too hard or brushing too vigorously can wear down enamel exposing the dentin. Improper brushing can also cause gums to recede
Recession of the gums: Periodontal disease such as gingivitis can cause gums to retreat from teeth exposing the roots. Inflammation of gum tissue can ultimately cause the loss of a tooth’s supporting ligaments, which further expose surface of the roots.
Broken or cracked teeth: Cracks in teeth are ideal breeding grounds for bacteria. Plaque is hard to remove from there by brushing alone. Any broken or chipped teeth may fill with microbes that can slip into the dentin and pulp causing inflammation.
Grinding teeth: Bruxism is clenching and grinding one’s jaws. It often happens at night while sleeping as a reaction to stress, so it frequently goes unnoticed. The grinding can wear down the enamel and expose underlying dentin.
Tooth whitening products: Overuse of tooth whitening products can also contribute to tooth sensitivity since peroxide is a nerve irritant
Your age: Adults between the ages of 25 and 30 have the most sensitive teeth.
Plaque build-up: Plaque can build up on the surface of tooth roots which can lead to tooth sensitivity.
Long-term use of some mouthwashes: Most mouth washes are acidic to increase their shelf life; however these mouth washes can erode tooth enamel. Instead research your product choices and find a mouthwash for daily use that has a balanced pH closer to water, one with 7 or higher. Ideally you want one with fluoride.
Acidic foods: Eating or drinking foods with a high acid content, such as colas like Coke, Pepsi and RC, as well as citrus fruits, tomatoes, pickles, and tea, can cause enamel erosion.
Recent routine dental procedures: Once the Novocain wears off, tooth sensitivity can creep in, a common occurrence following teeth cleaning, cementing a crown, root planing, or tooth restoration. Sensitivity after dental work is normal. For pain relief many dentists recommend taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen. If you do so, follow dosage directions carefully, be wary of potential side effects and don’t take it too long. Almost all sensitivity caused by dental procedures is temporary fading to the point where it is unnoticeable in 4-6 weeks.
What Can I Do to Reduce Tooth Sensitivity?
If you have sensitive teeth, you don’t have to swear off hot coffee or ice cream. Instead here are some steps you can take to diminish tooth sensitivity:
•Maintain good oral hygiene: Yes you’ve heard it before, but it’s a lesson to take to heart. Brush and floss at least twice a day, but ideally after every meal to thoroughly clean your teeth. If that’s impractical at least rinse your mouth thoroughly with water to remove food particles.
•Use a toothbrush with soft bristles: Remember, you’re trying to clean the plaque not wear down your teeth. Using a soft bristled toothbrush will irritate your gums less and not abrade your teeth as much. Brush carefully and gently around the gum line so you do not inadvertently remove more gum tissue. Be sure to brush all the way to your gums and floss thoroughly on both sides of the tooth gap to clean the tooth to the root.
•Use desensitizing toothpaste: Sensitive teeth toothpaste works in two ways, by either numbing the teeth with potassium nitrate or blocking the dentinal tubules with strontium chloride. Repeated use of the later ingredient can decrease sensitivity over time since it strengthens the barrier to the tubules. To get the right toothpaste for you read the ingredients label and try several. Another technique that helps relieve tooth sensitivity is to spread a thin layer of the toothpaste on any exposed tooth roots before you go to bed.
•Watch what you eat: Acidic foods include pickles, sauerkraut, relishes, citrus fruits and tomatoes. Colas and vinegars also have a low pH.They can gradually dissolve tooth enamel so consume them in moderation.
•Use fluoridated dental products: Tartar-control toothpaste can be very abrasive, so favor fluoridated toothpaste instead. Another ingredient to consider is triclosan which has anti bacterial properties that help fight plaque. Regular use of a fluoridated mouth rinse can also decrease tooth sensitivity. Ask your local Glendale dentists at The Dental Circle about products they recommend for home use.
•Avoid teeth grinding: If you grind or clench your teeth, the dentists of the Dental Circle can take a mold of your uppers and fashion a mouth guard to use at night.
•Visit the dentists of the Dental Circle regularly: To remove plaque you need professional teeth cleaning at lease once every six months. The hygienist will do a visual inspection, but you should also get dental X-rays; how often depends on your age and oral health. Your dentist might also recommend a fluoride treatment.
If you still have discomfort, bring the matter up to your Dental Circle dentist about using white fillings, sealers or fluoride varnishes to cover exposed root surfaces