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How to Make Your Teeth Less Sensitive: A Complete Guide

Sensitive Teeth
9 May 2024

Sensitive teeth can transform everyday activities like eating, drinking, and even breathing cold air into uncomfortable experiences. Fortunately, understanding and addressing the causes of tooth sensitivity can bring you some much-needed relief.

In this blog, we’ll explore various factors that contribute to tooth sensitivity and share practical tips on how to alleviate it. Let’s dive in and find out how you can enjoy your favourite foods and drinks without discomfort!

Understanding the Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

There are a number of reasons why you might be feeling some extra tooth pain; let’s run through some of the main ones:

Dental Issues

Dental issues, such as tooth cavities, commonly cause tooth sensitivity. Cavities occur when the hard surface of your teeth is damaged by acid-producing bacteria in plaque. This leads to small holes or openings in the tooth, exposing the sensitive inner layers. When cavities reach the deeper layers of a tooth, they can cause sharp pain and sensitivity, especially when consuming hot, cold, or sweet foods.

One effective treatment for severe cavities that reach the pulp (the central part of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels) is a root canal. This procedure involves removing the damaged pulp, cleaning the inner chambers of the tooth, and sealing it to protect against further damage.

Acidic Foods and Drinks

Your diet plays a big role in the health of your teeth, especially when it comes to acidic foods and drinks. Common culprits include fizzy drinks, citrus fruits, wine, and coffee. These can erode the enamel on your teeth, exposing the sensitive dentin beneath.

To protect your smile, limiting these acidic products or consuming them in moderation is important. Pairing acidic foods with meals rather than eating them alone can also help reduce their erosive effects on your enamel.

Gum Disease

Gum disease begins as mild gingivitis but can escalate to periodontitis, leading to gum recession and the exposure of sensitive tooth root surfaces. Symptoms include bleeding, swollen gums, and increased sensitivity. If left untreated, it can result in tooth loss. Early gum disease treatment and regular dental check-ups can help you manage gum disease and prevent its more severe side effects.

Plaque Buildup

Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. High-sugar diets, smoking, and poor oral hygiene can increase plaque buildup, which in turn can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

This buildup not only affects your dental health but also contributes to tooth sensitivity by weakening enamel and exposing the underlying layers of your teeth.

Abrasive Toothpaste

While toothpaste designed to whiten or remove stains might seem beneficial, some contain abrasive ingredients that can wear down enamel and increase sensitivity. It’s important to choose a toothpaste that balances effectiveness with gentleness to avoid causing harm to your teeth.

How To Protect Your Teeth Against Tooth Sensitivity

So, now we know some of the main causes of tooth sensitivity, how can we protect our teeth? Let’s have a look.

Fluoride Toothpaste

Incorporating fluoride toothpaste into your daily dental routine can really benefit your oral health. Fluoride strengthens the enamel, helps prevent cavities, and reduces sensitivity. For the best protection, dentists recommend using fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, ensuring that it has enough contact time with your teeth to be effective.

Soft-Bristled Toothbrushes

Using a soft-bristled toothbrush is gentle on both your gums and enamel, reducing the risk of damage and sensitivity. It’s important to choose the right size and shape brush to comfortably reach all areas of your mouth, ensuring a thorough clean without any harm.

Mouth Guard

A mouth guard is an excellent tool for those who grind their teeth at night—a habit known as bruxism. By cushioning your teeth, a mouth guard helps protect enamel and significantly reduces the sensitivity and wear caused by grinding. Speak to your dentist to get a custom-fitted guard for the best protection.

Fluoride Gels

Fluoride gels are another effective measure against tooth sensitivity. They help reduce oral discomfort and fortify your teeth against acids and decay. Available in various forms, such as gels, toothpaste, and mouthwashes, they can be easily included in your daily dental care routine.

Potassium Nitrate

Found in many desensitising toothpastes, potassium nitrate soothes the nerves in your teeth, offering relief from sensitivity. It is naturally present in many vegetables, such as spinach, celery, and cabbage, making it a dual-action remedy both as a dietary component and in oral care products.

Avoiding Cold Foods and Drinks

To reduce sensitivity, you can also think about how you consume cold foods and drinks. Avoid direct contact with teeth by sipping cold drinks through a straw and try to reduce how much sugary foods you eat. This can help prevent further irritation and protect your enamel.

Limiting Citrus Fruits and Soft Drinks

The acidity in citrus fruits and soft drinks can worsen tooth sensitivity by wearing down enamel. Limiting these in your diet helps preserve your enamel and reduce sensitivity, ensuring your teeth remain healthier for longer.

Treat Your Sensitive Teeth Today

Dealing with sensitive teeth can be challenging, but you don’t have to face it alone. We understand the discomfort that sensitive teeth can bring and are here to help diagnose the cause of your sensitivity, providing personalised treatments to stop your discomfort. Don’t let tooth sensitivity hold you back from enjoying life to the fullest. Book a consultation at our private dentist in Leeds, and let’s work together towards a healthier, more comfortable smile!

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