4 Helpful Tips for Tooth Sensitivity

A sip of piping hot coffee first thing in the morning or a lick of cold ice cream on a hot day are some of life’s simple pleasures; you never want treats like these to cause you pain. But if you suffer from teeth sensitivity, your favorite foods and drinks can soon become your worst enemies. Even frigid weather can be hard to withstand.

How to Manage Tooth Sensitivity

Many people suffer from sensitive teeth; it is a very common dental health issue. Luckily there are ways to ease the discomfort:

  • Check Your Brushing Technique: Sometimes people are too enthusiastic about their oral care routine. They clean their teeth more often than needed, use a hard-bristled toothbrush or use too much force when brushing. This can wear down enamel and lead to receding gums which exposes part of the root that houses the nerves.
    Always select a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently brush in a circular motion. Never clean your teeth using excessive force or sawing back and forth.
  • Limit Acidic Foods and Drinks: Sour and highly-acidic foods and beverages are major culprits. The acid content in these food items erodes tooth enamel causing sensitivity.
  • Consider Changing Your Toothpaste: If you use a whitening toothpaste, read the label. Heed any warnings and follow the usage instructions. Teeth whiteners tend to be very abrasive, which can lead to increased sensitivity. If you experience tooth pain, consider switching to a toothpaste formulated to treat teeth sensitivity.
  • Come Visit Sonrisa Dental: If your tooth sensitivity persists, you don’t have to live with the pain or discomfort. Contact our office to schedule an appointment. Sensitivity may be a sign of receding gums that can signal gum disease, a cavity, or an indication that you are clenching or grinding your teeth overnight. A dental exam will allow us to determine the cause of discomfort and treat the root problem.

What You Should Do if You Have a Chipped or Cracked Tooth

As soon as you see a visible chip on your tooth or suspect that a crack may have occurred, make an appointment to see your dentist. As with most dental procedures, the earlier a dentist can treat the issue, the less expensive it is in the long run.

Before Visiting the Dentist

Before you can get to the dentist, it is important to understand what you should do after experiencing a chipped or cracked tooth. Protecting the tooth from further damage is the priority. Rinse with warm salt water to help fight any infections and cover the area with fresh gauze or dental cement. Try to avoid eating or drinking as much as possible since it can exacerbate the issue. If the crack has hit the inner nerve, there may be some pain to contend with. Over-the-counter, pain relief medicines and dental anesthetic are both wonderful temporary aids.

Types of Chips & Cracks

There are many types of dental services that can be offered to repair a chipped or cracked tooth, depending on the specific injury that occurred.

  • Minor chip – the most common issue that occurs. When the nerves are not damaged, a filling material is generally used and then ground and shaped to match the rest of the tooth.
  • Minor crack – also referred to as “craze lines,” they are usually not a concern but can be polished and smoothed by your dentist.
  • More severe crack – when the pieces of the tooth remain in place, but the crack continues towards the root, early intervention can prevent a root canal or need for extraction.
  • Fractured cusp – when the biting surfaced gets chipped, it generally is not painful, and a crown can be used to prevent further damage and return the tooth to its previous appearance.
  • A break – when the nerve is exposed due to a break, your dentist will most likely recommend a root canal.
  • A split – when a tooth splits vertically into two separate parts. This is usually caused by an untreated crack that spread. A root canal may be necessary, but if at least half the tooth cannot be saved, extraction may be necessary.
  • A split root – A crack that starts at the root and spreads upward. May not be noticeable until it becomes infected.
  • Decay-induced crack – Caused when a cavity weakens the tooth from the inside out. If the decay is extensive enough, the tooth may not be saved.