If you’ve lived with tooth sensitivity for a while, you’ve felt the sudden shock that comes with drinking something really hot or ice cold, but can’t seem to give up your morning coffee. If you have sensitive teeth, here are some ways to help ease the shock.
Tip #1: Be careful with hot and cold foods and drinks. For really cold drinks, try drinking them through a straw.This will keep them from making direct contact with your teeth. You can even use a straw for hot coffee, but be sure to get a reusable straw designed to handle hot liquids.
Tip #2: Avoid acidic foods and drinks. Sodas fall in this category of drinks that can wear away tooth enamel, which can increase your tooth sensitivity. Also, stay away from orange juice and lemonade.
Tip #3: Avoid hard foods. Very hard foods can cause damage when you bite down on them, especially in already weakened teeth. Avoid eating ice altogether, which can really cause damage to your chompers.
Tip #4: Reduce your sugar intake. While it’s impossible to completely eliminate sugar out of your diet, you can eliminate foods that have added sugars, including honey and molasses. This reduces the production of acids by the bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities.
Depending on your particular circumstances, your dentist might recommend the following treatments:
- Desensitizing toothpaste. After continual use, toothpastes for sensitive teeth can reduce the shock, and some can even help restore teeth.
- Fluoride. Your dentist uses fluoride to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce cavities. For special cases, at-home fluoride treatments might be prescribed.
- Desensitizing or bonding. Occasionally, exposed root surfaces can be treated by applying bonding resin to the sensitive root surfaces.
- Gum graft. If your tooth root has lost gum tissue, a small amount of gum tissue can be taken from elsewhere in your mouth and attached to the affected site. This can protect exposed roots and reduce sensitivity.
- Root canal. If your sensitive teeth cause severe pain and other treatments aren’t effective, your dentist might recommend a root canal, which is considered the most effective treatment for tooth sensitivity.
If you have sensitive teeth, talk to your dentist today about your situation. It could be a sign of a serious problem.