Tooth sensitivity can be a major issue for many. Feeling a throbbing or stinging sensation in your teeth when you try to enjoy hot or cold foods and beverages, or when you eat sugary foods can be a sign that the protective outer layer of your teeth (enamel) has started to wear away. Dentin, the substance underneath your enamel, contains tons of tiny tubes that contain sensitive nerve endings. Here are a few ways you can ease the pain of sensitive teeth.
You may have seen sensitivity toothpaste on the shelves at your local drug store. What you may not know is how they work. Many of these toothpastes contain potassium nitrate – an ingredient which blocks the tiny tubes in the dentin, protecting your sensitive nerve endings. Using this type of toothpaste consistently can help reduce pain.
Avoid Acidic Food and Drinks
Acidic foods can quickly wear away the enamel on your teeth and make them sensitive. Do your best to avoid things like red wine, fruit juice, coffee, and citrus. If you do consume acidic foods or beverages, rinse your mouth out with water or chew some sugar-free gum. Avoid brushing for at least half an hour to avoid damaging your enamel further.
Change Your Brushing Routine
Sensitive teeth need to be treated gently. Most dentists will recommend that their patients use a soft bristled brush and use gentle circular motions to clean their teeth to avoid unnecessary wear and tear. It also important to avoid brushing immediately after eating or drinking something other than water – especially when it comes to acidic food. Brushing while acid is on your teeth can wear enamel away faster. Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after eating and before brushing.