Having sensitive gums and teeth can erode your quality of life, causing sensations in the mouth that range from mildly distracting to extremely painful. Cold and hot foods are possible triggers, as well as receding gums and dental work like teeth whitening or porcelain veneers, crowns or dental implants. If tooth and gum sensitivity is an issue for you, consider trying these five solutions for relief:
1. Brush More Softly
Vigorous brushing can be a primary cause of sensitivity as well as the gum recession that causes it. The outer tooth layers become worn away over time, exposing the inner sensitive portions of the tooth. Gum recession causes the teeth's dentin to become exposed, where small nerve endings can be irritated. To avoid this problem, only use soft bristle toothbrushes, do not brush gums directly, and limit brushing to around just two minutes.
2. Use Toothpaste Designed for Sensitive Teeth and Gums
Toothpaste made to help with sensitivity can solve your problem, but it will take some time. Results tend to be cumulative as you use the toothpaste consistently every day. The paste's active ingredient protects those small, sensitive nerve endings of the dentin and generates a gradual "numbing" effect so that teeth and gums are not as affected by pressure and changes in temperature.
3. Cut Back Your Intake of Acidic Foods
Food and beverages that have a high level of acidity can actually start to corrode your tooth enamel, exposing that sensitive dentin layer and making your teeth and gums more prone to irritation. Consider cutting back on citrus fruits and juices, pickles, relishes and alcoholic beverages like wine. If you do consume acidic foods, rinse your teeth and gums with water right away to cleanse them afterward.
4. Request Painted Tooth Barriers
Painted-on tooth barriers are another option for severe sensitivity issues. While they aren't permanent and will have to eventually be reapplied, they can offer relief for many months.
5. Get Treatment for Receding Gums
If you have a severe issue with gum tissue recession, dentists may offer procedures that can actually rebuild and restore this tissue for you.
Tooth and gum sensitivity can impair your quality of life, affecting your enjoyment of normal activities and your comfort level throughout the day. You shouldn't have to suffer with these issues, and you don't have to; use these five tips for dealing with tooth and mouth sensitivity, and consult a dentist like Dr. Chen & Associates to talk about your best options for relief.