Do you suffer from sensitive teeth? You’re not alone. According to the American Dental Association, “dentin hypersensitivity” affects up to 1 in every 8 Americans, and it can happen to anyone, at any age.
While there are no particular demographics that are more susceptible to sensitive teeth, there are risk factors that can contribute to your likelihood of being affected, including gum recession, inflamed gum tissue due to causes such as gum disease, teeth grinding, diets high in acidic or sugary foods, and even brushing too hard with a firm toothbrush. Basically, anything that wears away the enamel of your tooth to expose the “dentin” beneath can lead to sensitive teeth.
How do you know if you have sensitive teeth? Triggers that can cause pain among those with “dentin hypersensitivity” include cold foods like ice cream or popsicles; cold drinks, especially sugary soda; hot foods such as hot soup or hot beverages like coffee or tea; highly acidic or sugary foods; even exposure to particularly cold air can prompt pain among those with sensitive teeth—and we all know that it gets mighty cold here in Overland Park in the winter!
If you think you may be suffering from “dentin hypersensitivity,” be sure to check with your Overland Park dentist. The bad news is that sensitive teeth can be pretty uncomfortable. The good news is that they don’t have to prevent you from enjoying your life and can be treated with daily brushing, flossing, a good diet, and regular visits to your Overland Park dentist’s office!
While tooth sensitivity is often unpleasant, it isn’t usually an emergency situation, and if you can’t make it in to see your Overland Park dentist right away, there are some over-the-counter products that you can use to help reduce sensitivity until you can get in to see the dentist. At Watts Family Dental, we recommend making a switch to toothpaste for sensitive teeth, such as Sensodyne or Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief, just long enough to get your teeth feeling better and get you in to see the dentist.
How do these toothpastes differ from regular toothpaste? Most of them do not include sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a common surfactant found in many toothpastes, because some individuals with sensitive teeth find it to increase irritation. However, many of them do include potassium nitrate, which helps to alleviate tooth sensitivity, and some, such as ProNamel toothpaste, actually contain agents to help strengthen the enamel of your teeth.
If you’re suffering from tooth sensitivity, don’t let it get you down. Just give your Overland Park dentist at Watts Family Dental a call today at (913) 338-3384, and let us help get you on the road to a happier, healthier smile!