- Published on Wednesday, 24 July 2013 16:45
- Written by Super User
Do you sometimes get a jolt of pain when you eat or drink something hot or cold?
If so, then you have sensitive teeth. But don't worry, you're not alone. A recent survey suggests that about 1 in 8 people suffer from sensitive teeth. So why do so many people suffer from this condition and what can you do about it?
Having sensitive teeth is not equally spread across all demographics. This condition predominately affects young adults, people with receding gums and those who have done at home teeth whitening (most likely in the wrong way). The condition of sensitive teeth happens due to the tooth enamel (the outside layer of the tooth) becoming worn away, or the tissue between the teeth and the gums, called the cementum, also begins to deteriorate.
This then causes small holes to form that then connect small nerves on the inside of the tooth to certain triggers (hot and cold) on the outside of the tooth. Thus causing the jolt of pain that you feel with certain hot or cold foods and drinks.
The reason that this condition is more prevalent in young adults is that the layer of the tooth underneath your enamel, the dentin, grows thicker as we age thus creating more insulation from outside triggers such as hot or cold foods and drinks.
Also, when sensitive teeth is caused by teeth whitening, it is usually only a temporary problem that will go away within a few weeks after whitening has stopped. So what can you do about this issue?
I know you're going to hate this answer, but the bottom line best thing that you can do for sensitive teeth is to improve your brushing, flossing and rinsing habits. After all, it was most likely the long term cumulative effect of these habits not being where they should be that caused the issue of sensitive teeth in the first place. Now I know that's all you hear from us dentists and after a while it can begin sounding cliché. However, it's the truth! Improving your daily dental habits will help to keep the problem from escalating, but what to do about the pain for now?
Unfortunately, this issue will generally not go away (although you may age out of it), but you can minimize the condition by doing a few simple things:
• Stop the problem from progressing with good daily dental habits
• Start using sensitive toothpaste
• Use a softer bristle tooth brush
• Rinse every night with enamel re-storing ACT mouthwash
In more severe cases oral surgery may be an option, such as having your gums grafted if the issue is based in receding gums. Be sure to consult Bozart Family Dentistry about your options and in the mean time get those daily dental hygiene habits back on track and just steer clear of foods or drinks that may trigger it the most. Except ice cream, that's worth the pain I think!