Home remedies for sensitive teeth? What are dentist’s for? Aren’t dentists paid very high wages to repair and give advice on how to overcome sensitive teeth? Or maybe because going to the dentist is so expensive that people would rather invent home remedies to cure sensitive teeth and save a ton of money. (You should go to the dentist every 6 months we are just talking about saving expenses on those extra trips) You know those painful experiences when you throw down the tastiest and coldest bowl of ice cream on the earth. Then your teeth start screaming “ahhh! This is too cold! They let you know they didn’t like what you just did by hurting like there is no tomorrow.
But there are home remedies out there that can help you get rid of sensitive teeth once and for all. It may be buying a softer toothbrush or getting a stronger brand of toothpaste that helps alleviate sensitive teeth. Maybe you have been brushing too hard and too long on your teeth enamel. The enamels begins to wear down it can become extremely sensitive to cold and hot temperatures. It could be a simple case of changing your brushing style. Maybe you need to brush more often? There are many causes for sensitive teeth and there are many solutions to cure them once and for all. Let’s start at the beginning and look at the causes of ailing teeth.
A big cause of sensitive teeth is when you brush too long and too hard on your teeth. Over time this will wear down the enamel making them awfully thin. Thin enamel on the teeth will always react negatively to hot and cold stimuli they are exposed to. Other major causes:
- Cavities or tooth decay
- Fractured teeth
- Worn fillings or tooth enamel
- Having a tooth root exposed
- Gum disease
- Tooth erosion from highly acidic foods and drinks
- Tooth erosion due to bulimia or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Gum recession that leaves the root of your tooth exposed
In technical terms here is what happens when the teeth become sensitive. The layer that protects the crowns of the teeth above the gumline is called the enamel. The layer below the gumline that protects the roots teeth is called the cementum and underneath the enamel and cementum is a layer called the dentin. The dentin is the front line to the nerves. It is made of tiny, tube-like hollow canals. If your teeth become unhealthy and the enamel and cementum wear away then the dentin allows hot, cold, acidic, and sticky foods to reach the nerves through the tubes. This is when the teeth become hyper-sensitive to hot and cold foods. There is no protection left for the nerves when the teeth reach this unfortunate state. There is a dentist you says that sensitive is increasing among young people today. This is due to young people drinking too many fizzy drinks including sparkling water. Whoever thought that water could damage the teeth.
Now that we have established some causes of sensitive teeth let’s look at some solutions to cure sensitive teeth. Sensitive teeth can sometimes be cured very easily. If the causes are deeper than more extensive help will be needed to aide sensitive teeth. In these cases it’s advisable to contact the dentist and see what your options are. What it comes down to is the only way to stop sensitive teeth is to contact the dentist. This is when home remedies cannot fix your sensitive teeth. For example, when tooth decay or some kind of gum disease sets in. When sensitive teeth are caused by less severe reasons than home remedies can be the best cures for sensitive teeth. Natural home remedies may be the best way to go to stop sensitive teeth.
The traditional way of thinking says that you should brush your teeth with vigor and purpose. This goes hand-in-hand with buying the hardest model of toothbrush you can find. But these two mistaken notions can cause your teeth to become sensitive in no time. Your best bet is to switch to a gentler or softer model of toothbrush because this type of toothbrush won’t wear down the protective surfaces of the teeth or the gum. Also, go easy on the teeth and they will serve you a lot better.
Stay away from Burning Acidic Foods
We all know that acidic foods taste good but they can wreak havoc on the teeth. The acids splash all over the teeth and it will burn right through the enamel or cementum. If you go into hives when you think about staying away from acidic foods such as: coffee, yogurt, wine, citric acid, lemon and lime, and carbonated drinks. Just stay away from them or if you can’t tham drink them through a straw. This will minimize some of the acid from racing the teeth. Or drink milk or water right after drinking the acid beverages to help neutralize the acid levels hitting your teeth. The Mayo Clinic, surprisingly, suggests you wait to brush your teeth after drinking acidic beverages because you can soften the enamel and make it more vulnerable to erosion. This advice may not be sound enough to apply in your daily brushing routine.
If you grind your teeth at night you will wear down the enamel and you will never know that you are grinding your teeth. Grinding occurs when we sleep and it will leave your teeth sore, sensitive and weakened in the morning. You will not be the most relaxed person either. You may consider buying a mouthguard (similar to one athletes use) this will stop you from grinding your teeth while you sleep. You can procure one from your dentist or find one in the oral care section of the local drug store. They are fairly inexpensive and you can probably buy a pack of 20 for $20.00. The manufacturer recommends you use a new one every night but you could probably go a week before you use a new one. If you have any doubts about the frequency of switching out the mouthguard consult your dentist. A mouth guard will feel funny at first but you will quickly adjust to it.
The extra layer between the grinding teeth will help protect them from erosion. You can ask your dentist for a mouthguard and he will be able to fit one to the unique shape of your mouth. Or if you want to forego the expensive of the office visit then check with your local pharmacy. The pharmacy will have types that you can boil to fit your teeth or they should provide different types for different mouth shapes and problems.
Proper Brushing Technique can make a Difference
You would never think the way you brush your teeth would affect the condition of the gums or teeth. But it is said by health experts that brushing your teeth in a back and forth motion can erode your gums. There is even a science to brushing your teeth the correct way. It’s pretty simple just take the toothbrush and hold it at a 45 degree angle to your teeth. Brush your teeth gently in circular motions. Don’t brush the teeth too aggressively this can expose sensitive spots on the teeth. Watch yourself in the mirror and if you notice the toothbrush bristles are shooting in every direction you are brushing too hard. Ease up on the toothbrush and brush your teeth gently but thoroughly.
Don’t Bleach the Teeth
Home whitening remedies contain abrasive ingredients that contain abrasive materials that can make the teeth sensitive and cause pain if they are used too often. It’s recommended that if you are going to use these whitening home remedies then you should only use about every six months. They are really damaging to the teeth if you use them frequently. It sounds like these abrasive ingredients can erode your teeth and then cause your teeth some major problems.
If you are just beginning to find solutions to sensitive teeth and you have not quite found the right solution to stop the erosion of the teeth then here are some quick solutions you can use to help ease the sensitivity and pain in the short term.
- Brush with warm water instead of cold
- Drink through a straw
- Stay away from extremely hot and cold beverages
There are also advanced solutions for sensitive teeth:
Fluoride gel treatments
Crown, inlay or bonding
Surgical gum graft
Your dentist may recommend desensitizing toothpaste as a beginning solution to the sensitivity problem. You can find this type of toothpaste on Amazon but a more practical solution would to buy it at your local pharmacy or local supermarket. You can buy this type of toothpaste just about anywhere. Make sure the toothpaste is recommended by the American Dental Association. According to the American Dental Association a desensitizing toothpaste should contain compounds that will block sensation from traveling from the tooth surface to the nerve. You won’t feel the effects right off but overtime the sensitivity will stop.
If the desensitizing toothpaste doesn’t work then the dentist may call you in for a stronger treatment. This would involve a gel fluoride which will be administered in the dentist’s office. The gel is supposed to strengthen the enamel and form a protective covering over it. The gel will block food and drink transmissions from reaching the nerves and causing tooth sensitivity and pain. This is a non-invasive treatment performed in the dentist’s office which is a varnish applied directly to the enamel of the teeth. The good news is that this treatment is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of sensitive teeth. It is also used as a cavity liner to protect the teeth from forming cavities. The approval by the Food and Drug Administration authenticates the effectiveness of this treatment for protecting the teeth from sensitivity.
A Surgical Gum Graft
This is a deeper therapy to helps stop sensitivity in the teeth and it’s a permanent solution to the problem. When the gums pull away from around the teeth the root is exposed and food and drink will hit the root of the tooth and cause pain. Sometime the periodontist (This doctor specializes in the treatment, prevention and diagnosis of periodontal disease. He also is able to surgically put implants in the mouth. He is also knowledgeable in oral inflammation.) The gum graft is performed to stop your teeth from being sensitive and it will also prevent tooth loss if the gums disease develops further.
Three types of gum graft
These grafts will be determined by the dentist determining what the individual needs are:
This involves covering an exposed root. The procedure involves cutting a flap of skin at the roof of the mouth (palate) then the subepithelial connective tissue is removed from under the flap and is stitched around the exposed root. The flap is then stitched back together. The tissue will cover the root.
Free Gingival Grafts:
This procedure involves removing tissue directly from the roof of the mouth and then is attached to the area of the gum being treated. This procedure is mainly used on people who have thin gums to begin with. The grafted tissue is used to buffer the existing gum. This can also help to eliminate tooth sensitivity.
This procedure is different from the other two grafts in that the tissue is taken from the area right around the affected tooth. Part of the gum is cut away leaving an edge of the gum. The edge of the gum is then pulled over or down to cover the exposed root.
This procedure is only successful on people who have plenty of gum tissue around the affected tooth.
All three of these procedures will help eliminate tooth sensitivity issues and are obviously long term solutions. Also, some dentists and patients prefer to get tissue from gum banks instead of using the patient’s existing gum tissue. You need to consult with your dentist to see which option is best for you. There is another option in which proteins are given to the patient to stimulate gum growth this would involve no surgical procedures.
The Dreaded Root Canal
This procedure is performed when the tooth pulp has become deeply infected or is decayed beyond any other procedure to repair the pulp. This could involve removing the pulp and the tooth nerve. It is then sealed up to prevent future pain or infection. The root canal is literally the passages between the pulp and tooth roots. If the nerve is removed it isn’t a major concern because the nerve in an adult tooth senses hot, cold or painful sensations. Causes for an infected tooth pulp are: severe tooth decay, trauma to the tooth, recent dental procedures, large fillings, and cracks or chips in the teeth. Here are the signs a root canal is needed:
- Serious teeth pain when eating or when you put pressure on the area
- Teeth pain and sensitivity to hot or cold that lingers after the hot or cold stimuli have been removed
- A small, pimple-like bump on the gums near the area of teeth pain
- Darkening of the tooth
- Tenderness or swelling in the gums near the area of teeth pain
If you show any of these signs contact your dentist immediately!
Procedure for a Root Canal:
- The dentist will take x-rays to determine how bad the tooth is infected.
- The dentist will use a local anesthetic to calm you down so you will feel no pain during the surgery.
- The dentist make an opening in the tooth usually in the crown of the tooth and then uses special instruments to clean the decay out of the pulp.
- In some cases the dentist will leave the tooth open to let additional material drain out. He will put in a temporary filling to let the excess material completely drain out. The filling will protect that area of the tooth until the drainage has completed.
- Final note if you experience tooth pain and sensitivity be sure you follow a oral care routine. If you notice increased tooth sensitivity after a root canal, try using soft-bristled toothbrushes and oral care products designed specifically for sensitive teeth.
We have looked into some of the causes of teeth sensitivity. We talked about homemade remedies that can be applied to ease the sensitivity in the teeth. So, the person suffering from teeth sensitivity can find a cost effective way to eliminate the sensitive teeth issue. Some of the home remedies may even be recommended by your dentist or you can research their effectiveness on your own. Some of the home remedies discussed will bring fast relief from tooth sensitivity issues. Others may take a little longer to remove the sensitivity in the teeth. Frankly, these may not work at all. If you try these home remedies and find the problem is staying the same or getting worse; then you should contact your dentist and discuss some of the more extensive procedures we talked about in the article. You want to deal with sensitive teeth issues as soon as you can because putting off any type of remedy could lead to deeper gum problems and possibly tooth loss.