You get sensitive teeth when your gums pull back and expose the surface beneath, called the dentin. This soft layer makes up the inner part and roots, which have thousands of tiny tubes that lead to the tooth’s nerve center (the pulp). These channels allow the trigger — for example, the hot, cold, or sweet food — to reach the nerve in your tooth, which results in the pain you feel.
11(A) Steps to Reduce Tooth Sensitivity
The good news is there are many ways to control sensitive teeth. You can:
- Brush, floss, and rinse regularly. Use proper brushing and flossing techniques to thoroughly clean all parts of your teeth and mouth. Rinse with a fluoride and antiseptic mouthwash daily.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brush gently and carefully around the gum line so you don’t remove gum tissue.
- Watch what you eat. Avoid lots of highly acidic foods and drinks.
- Use fluoridated dental products. Using a fluoridated mouth rinse daily can decrease sensitivity. Ask your dentist about products available for home use.
- Don’t grind your teeth. Use a mouth guard at night.
- See your dentist every 6 months (or sooner, depending on your condition).
If you still have discomfort, talk to your dentist. There may be a procedure that can help. He might recommend:
- White fillings(bonding) to cover exposed root surfaces
- Fluoride varnishes applied to the exposed root surface
- Dentin sealers applied to the exposed root surface