April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. While oral cancer isn’t a topic that most people…
If you’ve ever experienced an unexpected jolt of tooth pain while eating ice cream, sipping a cold drink, or even just stepping out into chilly winter air, you may be suffering from tooth sensitivity. But what is tooth sensitivity, and how do you get rid of it? Your Overland Park dentist will explain!
The first thing you should know is that tooth sensitivity is not uncommon. In fact, statistics show that roughly 12% of Americans—that’s one out of about every eight people—suffers from sensitive teeth to one degree or another. That’s the bad news. The good news is, it can be treated successfully. A variety of different things can cause tooth sensitivity, and treatments differ depending on the cause, but most tooth sensitivity can be ameliorated with a little help from your family dentist.
What might trigger tooth pain?
This time of year, the primary culprits may be cold weather or hot foods, but any extreme of temperature can trigger a jolt of pain in someone suffering from tooth sensitivity. Other causes include overly sweet or acidic foods or beverages and even brushing or flossing your teeth.
Why does it happen? There are a range of possibilities, from cavities to gum disease to a fractured tooth or worn fillings. The most common cause of tooth sensitivity is erosion of tooth enamel. Enamel protects the nerves inside your teeth, and as enamel is worn away, those nerves are more likely to send out a spike of pain when they encounter something hot, cold, or otherwise jarring to them.
What can you do about it?
Fortunately, your Overland Park dentist can help to mitigate tooth sensitivity, and there are also things that you can do on your own! If you know that certain foods and beverages trigger your sensitivity, try avoiding those, and steer clear of sugary or highly acidic foods and beverages that might contribute to enamel loss. Using a desensitizing toothpaste can help to reduce the symptoms of tooth sensitivity and put a stop to those pesky jolts of pain.
The best thing you can do, of course, is to practice proper oral hygiene. Just about anything that’s causing tooth sensitivity will be improved by regular brushing, flossing, and biannual trips to your Overland Park dentist. If your oral care routine is causing you pain, however, be sure to talk to your dentist about alternatives that can help.
You’re not in this alone, either. Your family dentist offers all kinds of helpful solutions such as in-office fluoride gel treatments that can help to build back your tooth enamel and block those pesky pains. If you’re suffering from tooth sensitivity this winter, contact your Overland Park dentist! Call Watts Family Dental at (913) 338-3384 to schedule an appointment or chat with a member of our friendly staff today!