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Dental Health and Food: Learning to Eat Better

My intense love for candy, cakes, and everything in between started as a child. I simply couldn't go one day without something sweet to eat. But my love for all things sweet took a toll on my teeth. My dentist diagnosed me with seven cavities, each one a different size and depth. After sitting through four long dental appointments, I decided to make a change. I now monitor my diet and only eat things that benefit my oral health. I'm here to help you take better care of your teeth. My blog offers tips on how to improve your diet, maintain good oral hygiene, and many other topics. Hopefully, you can learn to overcome your bad habits just as I did. Good luck with your future dental health.


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Dental Health and Food: Learning to Eat Better

Taking A Bite Out Of Tooth Pain: Banish Pain From Sensitive Teeth

by Eric Bailey

If you experience a sharp pain when you eat or drink hot or cold foods, you could be suffering from sensitive teeth. Sensitive teeth is a common problem that affects an estimated one in eight American adults. While it can be a sign of a serious dental problem, in many instances the problem occurs when the dentine is exposed due to receding gums or enamel erosion. While you should seek the advise of your dentist any time you experience pain from your teeth or the surrounding gums, you can often treat sensitive teeth safely at home.

What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

The roots of your teeth contain tiny tubules that carry feeling to the nerves of your teeth. Under normal circumstances this area is covered by your gums. When your gums recede, this area is exposed. In some instances, the erosion of enamel exposes the tubules. Enamel erosion can occur from using teeth whitening products or brushing vigorously with a medium or hard bristle toothbrush. When hot or cold foods and drinks, sugary foods, or acidic foods contact the exposed tubules, you experience pain. You may also experience temporary tooth sensitivity after dental work, such as scaling. Talk to your dentist if the problem persists.

Can You Cure Sensitive Teeth?

Grafting the gums to cover the roots of the teeth can correct sensitive teeth, but only your dentist can decide if this is an option for you. Typically, mild tooth sensitivity is treated by using special toothpaste designed to eliminate the pain of sensitive teeth.

How Does Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth Work?

There are two basic types of toothpaste deigned for sensitive teeth; those that numb the pain from sensitive teeth and those that block the tubules that lead to the nerve of the tooth.

  • Pain Numbing Toothpaste: Toothpaste designed to numb the pain typically contains potassium nitrate to soothe the nerves in your teeth. This toothpaste must be used regularly to produce the desired effects. The effects are generally short-term and pain may return within a day or two of stopping the use of the toothpaste.

  • Repairing Toothpaste: This toothpaste may be sold as a repair and protect or a repairing toothpaste. It contains calcium sodium phosphosilicate bioactive glass. This compound reacts with the saliva in your mouth to form calcium phosphate that blocks the tubules and coats the tooth. This prevents the pain message from reaching the nerve of your tooth and prevents sensitive teeth. Repairing toothpaste has a longer residual effect than pain numbing toothpaste.

How Long Will I Need to Use Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth?

If you are suffering from sensitivity as the result of dental work, such a scaling or veneer work, you will only need to use the toothpaste for sensitive teeth until your mouth has healed completely. However, if your sensitive teeth are due to receding gums or exposed dentine that your dentist determines is minor and does not require further dental work, you may need to use toothpaste for sensitive teeth for the rest of your life. Fortunately, there are many formulas available in a variety of flavors.

What Else Can I do to Prevent Sensitive Teeth?

Good oral hygiene is important. Visiting your dentist regularly, brushing at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush, and rinsing your mouth with water after eating or drinking acidic foods may prevent your sensitive teeth from getting worse.

If you are bothered by sensitive teeth, visit your dentist to determine the cause. Many dentists provide samples of toothpaste for sensitive teeth so you can determine which brand works best for you. Follow instructions carefully and do not brush more than three times a day with repairing toothpastes. For more information, contact a local dental clinic like Smile Makers Dental