How to Stop Sensitive Teeth

Closeup of a curly-haired woman in a white blouse touching her cheek due to pain from sensitive teeth

Do your teeth hurt when you consume hot or cold drinks or foods? If so, you have sensitive teeth. Teeth sensitivity is caused by thin or damaged enamel, the outer protective layer of your teeth, that exposes the dentin, the layer of your teeth that is under the hard enamel shell. Dentin houses channels, or tubules, that connect directly to your tooth’s nerve endings. If these channels are exposed–often due to serious oral health issues such as tooth decay or gums that are inflamed, receding, and/or infected–you can feel pain when these nerves are irritated by cold or hot foods and beverages. Here, we’ll explain how to stop your teeth from feeling so sensitive.

  1. Use the Right Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  2. Aggressive tooth brushing and a toothbrush with medium or firm bristles can wear away at your enamel and increase your teeth sensitivity. Be sure to replace your hard-bristled toothbrush with one that has soft bristles, brush with gentle pressure, and use a toothpaste with fluoride, which remineralizes your teeth and helps strengthen enamel. If your teeth are just too sensitive to brush with regular toothpaste, try anti-sensitivity toothpaste, which is supposed to help block some of the pain caused by sensitive teeth. Also consider switching to an electric toothbrush that has a pressure sensor so you don’t brush too hard.

  3. Wear a Mouthguard at Night
  4. If you grind your teeth while you sleep, you are exacerbating your sensitive teeth. When you grind your teeth, you are literally wearing away your tooth enamel. Moreover, this can lead to headaches and jaw pain the next day. A mouthguard will keep your teeth safe from the impact of grinding and should reduce your teeth sensitivity.

  5. Limit Acidic Foods & Drinks
  6. If you are suffering from sensitive teeth, it’s important to avoid acidic foods that could dissolve your enamel and further expose the underlying layers. Limit foods and drinks such as coffee, alcohol, citrus, soda, tomato-based products, and balsamic vinegar, whenever possible. Instead, choose foods that will help remineralize your teeth such as milk, leafy greens, and other calcium and nutrient-rich foods.

  7. Talk with Our Expert Team
  8. If your teeth are so sensitive that none of the above solutions work, talk to us. There are a number of procedures, including bonding, in which exposed sensitive areas are treated with bonding resin, or a surgical gum graft, in which gum tissue is attached to the site where a tooth root has lost gum tissue. If your sensitivity is severe, you might even need root canal therapy.

If you’re experiencing sensitive teeth, schedule an appointment at our Eden Prairie dental office so we can help find a solution to treat your dental discomfort. Contact us today!

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