It’s summer, scorching-hot. The thought of enjoying an icy ice-cream refreshes your body, so you go ahead and take one out of the freezer, and you are excited about that first cooling bite. When, suddenly, a sharp surge of pain down your teeth gets you out of your comfort zone.
It’s winter – freezing-cold. You are at home next to the fireplace, nestled cosily in the armchair with your blanket and a good book. Still, you don’t feel warm enough. A cup of hot tea will be just the thing you are missing. So, you go ahead and make yourself the most delicious tea and take a sip. When, suddenly, a painful burst of sensations explode in your teeth.
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Is the feeling familiar?
It’s called tooth sensitivity. And it comes in three forms: weak, mild and strong. If you are in luck to experience the first or the second, you might overcome it on your own, at home with over-the-counter products. But, if you are experiencing excruciating, unbearable pain, then it is probably a sign to pick up the phone and call an appointment with the dentist.
But how can you know? Let’s go over the symptoms and everything else you need to know about tooth sensitivity.
What is tooth sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is a painful condition of the teeth when the second layer of the tooth – the dentin gets exposed. Since the dentin has the pulp in the middle and thousands of nerve endings that receive the outer stimuli, the sensation that is felt is excruciating, even though it lasts for a matter of seconds.
Why does tooth sensitivity happen?
If you eat and drink acidic foods and drinks often, your teeth will probably become sensitive very soon. The reason for this is that acidic food and beverages slowly erode and dissolve the tooth surface – the enamel, thus exposing the dentin. If you brush your teeth too hard or use an abrasive toothpaste, the enamel will also wear off exposing the dentin. Finally, dental diseases like receded gums or periodontal disease are the most common causers of tooth sensitivity.
What can you do to prevent tooth sensitivity?
To prevent it from happening, you need to be careful of the food and drinks you consume. Avoid soda, high-sugar carbs, sticky candy, citrus fruit and beverages and sugary chewing gums. Next, don’t clench your teeth because teeth grinding destroys the enamel. If you are often stressed and clench your teeth subconsciously, talk to your dentist to fit you for a mouthguard.
Moreover, you should avoid bleaching the teeth because improper procedures can seriously hurt your teeth. Or, if you can’t imagine stopping with the bleaching process, make sure you use the right products that are appropriate for your teeth condition.
If tooth sensitivity happens what to do?
So, let’s get back to the beginning. As previously mentioned, tooth sensitivity can be differently intense. If it is weak or mild – meaning you feel it for a few seconds when you do something from the list that you should be avoiding, then over-the-counter products will be enough for treating it at home. For example, you can buy mi paste products or any other brand that you are recommended to use and follow the instructions. Usually, these products are desensitising toothpastes that contain a unique formula enriched with essential minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate, which make the teeth healthy and prevent dental diseases from happening.
You can also use a fluoride gel and apply it on the teeth in a tray and leave it to take effect for a couple of minutes, according to the instructions.
When to see a doctor?
When the pain doesn’t go away, and it becomes a severe problem to eat or drink anything, it is a sign that something else might be happening than tooth sensitivity. Maybe, there will be a need to do a root canal cleaning or treating the teeth from another dental disease that had started developing meanwhile.
The symptoms for such a reaction is acute pain when biting and chewing on food. If this happens, then it is possible that you have a chipped or fractured tooth that goes against the tooth pulp and nerves. Besides, if you are feeling acute and non-specific pain in more than one tooth and you can’t really tell where exactly the pain comes from, you might have a tooth infection or an infected tooth pulp, in which case you need to make an appointment with the dentist before the condition worsens.