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How to Prevent and Manage Tooth Sensitivity

Sudden tooth pain when indulging in hot or cold foods, acidic treats, or even inhaling chilly air could signify tooth sensitivity. This discomfort often stems from various causes like worn enamel, exposed roots, cavities, or cracks in teeth. While serious issues require professional dental care, you can take steps at home to alleviate sensitivity. Here’s how to tackle and prevent tooth sensitivity:

  • Gentle Brushing: Avoid vigorous brushing, which can push gums away from teeth, exposing nerves and leading to pain. Opt for a soft-bristled brush and use a circular motion to clean teeth twice daily, preserving enamel strength.
  • Desensitizing Toothpaste: Over-the-counter toothpaste formulated with compounds like stannous fluoride and potassium nitrate can hinder nerve sensation transmission, reducing sensitivity over time with consistent use.
  • Caution with Whitening: Both professional whitening procedures and at-home kits may exacerbate sensitivity temporarily. Inform your dentist about sensitivity concerns before opting for whitening treatments to ensure the best course of action.
  • Combat Teeth Grinding: Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can wear down enamel, heightening sensitivity. Stress management techniques may alleviate mild cases, while custom mouthguards provided by your dentist offer protection during sleep for more severe grinding habits.
  • Saltwater Rinse: A saltwater mouthwash can create an alkaline environment in the mouth, balancing pH levels and curbing bacterial growth. Mix two teaspoons of salt with warm water and use it twice daily to reduce sensitivity.
  • Avoid Acidic Foods: Foods and beverages high in acidity can erode enamel and exacerbate sensitivity. Limit consumption of pickles, sodas, citrus fruits, coffee, and sticky candies, opting instead for enamel-strengthening options like cheese, yogurt, and fibrous fruits and vegetables.
  • Seek Professional Help: If home remedies fail to alleviate severe sensitivity, consult your dentist. Various in-office treatments, such as sealants, fluoride gel applications, crowns, or root canals, can address underlying dental issues causing sensitivity.

Remember, tooth sensitivity treatment varies depending on its cause and severity. While mild cases can often be managed with home care and lifestyle adjustments, more severe sensitivity may necessitate professional intervention. Consult your dentist to determine the best course of action for your specific needs.