Maybe you’ve eaten some ice cream or rapidly gulped down some ice-cold water to quench your thirst. What immediately happened?
Likely a brain-freeze and short-lived achy teeth. Chances are it wasn’t a pleasant experience. Some patients, however, have sensitive teeth all the time.
How does one’s tooth become sensitive and can sensitive teeth is prevented?
There are multiple causes of sensitive teeth and all of them can be avoided to some extent. The underlying cause of tooth sensitivity is the breakdown of the tooth enamel which then exposes the nerves and delicate inner parts of the tooth. The compromise of tooth enamel can be the result of decay or trauma to the tooth.
In many instances of tooth enamel damage, the destruction could have been avoided with better oral hygiene and diet choices. Failing to floss or flossing inconsistently can lead to gum disease whereby the gums pull away from the teeth, exposing the nerves of teeth.
In adequate teeth brushing or brushing too vigorously can lead to tooth decay that can infect the sensitive tooth roots and nerves as well as scrape away layers of tooth enamel, whereby exposing teeth nerves.
A diet consisting of high consumption of sugary drinks and beverages can also lead to tooth decay and the compromise of tooth enamel.
Other causes of tooth decay may be further out of a patient’s control. Accidents resulting in trauma to the teeth as a result of a fall or blow to the face or mouth can cause teeth to get cracked, chipped or broken. Not only do these teeth injuries ruin a patient’s smile, but the trauma compromises the strength and effectiveness of tooth enamel.
Some patients have a dental condition called Bruxism whereby they unconsciously clench and/or grind their teeth. This teeth clenching and grinding often occurs at night while the patient is sleeping. The excessive grinding and pressure put on the teeth damages the tooth enamel.
Teeth may also be sensitive immediately following a dental procedure, though this type of sensitivity is temporary. Failing dental work, such as leaky fillings, can also trigger tooth sensitivity and should be fixed as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the tooth.
Tooth sensitivity can in most cases be avoided through good dental care and a healthy diet. Twice daily teeth brushing and flossing are crucial in preventing cavities and gum disease.
When brushing one’s teeth, use a soft to medium bristled toothbrush and gently brush all teeth surfaces for a solid two minutes. It is highly recommended that one’s toothbrush be changed every three months.
A regular visit to the dentist is also a major part of good oral hygiene. Check-ups and professional teeth cleanings every six months can help patients be proactive about their gum and teeth health through the prevention or early treatment of dental issues.
Through regular dental check-ups and examinations, patients that have Bruxism or participate in sports with a high risk of dental trauma can be fitted with mouth guards to protect their teeth enamel.
A healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and white meat along with plenty of water can help keep cavity and gum disease-causing plaque at bay. A healthy, nutritious diet is also beneficial for one’s physical and mental health.
Tooth sensitivity isn’t pleasant and be indicative of an underlying dental health issue. In many cases, sensitive teeth can be avoided through proper oral health care and a nutritious diet.
If it has been more than six months since you last visited your dentist, it is highly encouraged that you contact them today to schedule an appointment to maintain good oral hygiene care and tooth sensitivity treatment.
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