Dental sensitivity can range from mild to severe, depending on the cause. For some people, the sensation of dental sensitivity is mild, and for others, electric shock-like nerve pain may occur. If you experience dental sensitivity, see your dentist. Once the cause of your symptoms has been determined, your dentist will recommend the appropriate treatment. Here are some causes of dental sensitivity and some effective treatment options.
Dental Sensitivity Causes
Acid erosion is one of the most common causes of dental sensitivity. Acid erosion refers to when your tooth enamel erodes, thins, or wears away as a result of eating and drinking acidic foods and drinks. These include citrus fruit and juices, coffee, cola, and tea. Acid erosion can also be caused by brushing your teeth too hard because, over time, this can cause enamel damage.
Once you develop acid erosion, you may experience pain when drinking hot or cold beverages, eating ice cream, or drinking orange juice. Another cause of enamel erosion may be the overuse of home-bleaching treatments. While home bleaching strips and kits have a weaker concentration than bleaching treatments performed by your dentist, long-term use of these home products can weaken your tooth enamel, raising your risk for acid erosion.
Dental Sensitivity Treatments
If you have dental sensitivity, then your dentist may recommend avoiding highly acidic foods and drinks. While this may not reverse existing enamel damage, it may help prevent further progression of enamel erosion. In addition, brushing your teeth with a special toothpaste that treats enamel erosion can help promote optimal mineralization of your teeth so that they are protected against further damage.
In addition to mineralization toothpaste, using toothpaste for sensitive teeth will help prevent the unpleasant sensations caused by acid erosion. These products are available over the counter, however, if your tooth enamel is severely damaged or if you experience extreme pain as a result of enamel erosion, prescription oral rinses and further dental treatments may be warranted.
Your dentist may also recommend that you limit your use of at-home bleaching treatments to help prevent enamel damage. If you want to brighten your smile, consider getting a dental office laser bleaching treatment from your dentist.
If your teeth become sensitive after consuming acidic drinks and foods or after using at-home bleaching products, make an appointment with your dentist. When enamel damage is treated early on your risk for further damage may be greatly reduced and you may be less prone to developing severe pain associated with enamel erosion.