Summer is on the horizon, and if there’s any time of year when you don’t want to be stumped by sensitivity, it’s the holidays. With cool drinks, lollies, and ice creams on offer, it’s time to tackle sensitive teeth for good. If you wince when you sip on an ice cold beverage or you can’t bear the thought of biting into a ‘99, here are some tips that will come in handy.
What causes sensitivity?
Sensitivity is a very common dental complaint. Most people find that they experience pain when the teeth come into contact with something very hot or cold. If you have minor sensitivity, you may find that ice-cold drinks and cold foods like ice cream are a trigger. If you have a more serious care, you may suffer when it’s very cold outside, you drink anything hot or cold, or you bite into foods with a sharp taste, such as an apple. The most common reason you experience discomfort is acid erosion. The enamel coating protects the rest of the tooth, and when it becomes thin or worn, the dentine becomes exposed. The dentine contains your nerves, and this is why you start to feel pain. Acid erosion is usually associated with diet or brushing your teeth too hard.
Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to dental health. You can maximise your chances of avoiding pain by keeping your teeth as strong and healthy as possible. Take 5 minutes every day to clean your teeth and floss. Brush once in the morning and once before you go to bed, and make sure you cover every tooth. Be gentle, as brushing too hard can damage your enamel. See your dentist every 6-9 months, and consider adopting cleaning techniques such as oil pulling. If you’re interested in oil pulling, you can read more about it on pages like The Big Fruit. Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic therapy, which removes bacteria from the mouth. It is believed to reduce the risk of enamel damage, decay, and gum disease, and it can also help to whiten the teeth naturally.
If you suffer from sensitivity on a regular basis, the first thing to do is consult your dentist. Sensitivity can be a sign of decay and enamel wear, and treatment may be required. If you have a cavity, for example, your dentist may recommend filling the tooth. It’s also a good idea to use a straw when you drink and to use toothpaste, which is specially designed for people with sensitive teeth. These toothpastes can provide relief for pain, and help to prevent further damage to the teeth. If you’re not sure what to buy, your dentist or hygienist will be able to recommend products. Ask for drinks without ice when you order in a restaurant or bar, and try and be gentler when you clean your teeth.
Summer holidays are a time for enjoying refreshing cocktails and indulgent ice creams, so don’t let sensitive teeth ruin your plans! If you’re struggling with sensitivity, see your dentist, brush up on dental hygiene, and search for a new toothpaste. Hopefully, you’ll feel more comfortable in no time.