How to relieve sensitive teeth?

What are the reasons for sensitive teeth, and how do you deal with it? Both are common questions for people with tooth sensitivity.

A survey done in Norway for Orkla shows that over half of the population in Norway have experienced tooth sensitivity. In other words, you’re not alone feeling the short, sharp pain that for instance cold food and drinks can give you.

Dentin hypersensitivity or root sensitivity, known as tooth sensitivity, is not damaging for your teeth, but it can be painful. The short and sharp pain in the teeth can be triggered by different things, but cold is the most common reason.

 

What’s the reason for sensitive teeth?

There are different reasons for sensitive teeth, but it’s often triggered if you mix hot and cold food or beverages, or when you eat a mix of sweet and sour. Sometimes tooth sensitivity can also be triggered by cold air.

Tooth sensitivity is triggered by the dentin, the layer under the enamel where the nerves live, being exposed. The dentin consists of small canals, that are open in each end, that lead into the nerve. Sensitive teeth symptoms appear when this nerve is unprotected against temperature fluctuations.

Reasons why this happens can be bad dental care and mouth hygiene, or that you’ve brushed your teeth so hard that the gums have been pushed back, leading to the roots of the teeth being visible. Other reasons can be:

  • Wear and tear on the enamel because of teeth grinding
  • Cavity in a tooth which has been filled with bacteria and now is oversensitive
  • Dental plaque
  • Tooth decay near the gums, or other gum diseases
  • High intake of acidic food and beverages
  • Use of teeth whitening products that lead to an increased teeth sensitivity
  • Dental treatments can also lead to tooth sensitivity, but should disappear after 4-6 weeks after the treatment has been done

 

Treatment of sensitive teeth

Few people actually go to the dentist because of tooth sensitivity. There are several things you can do yourself to treat it.

  • Brushing your teeth daily with a soft toothbrush
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste, fluoride can reduce tooth sensitivity
  • Avoid food and beverages with a lot of acidity
  • Drink water instead of juice and soft drinks
  • Do not brush your teeth right after eating sour food or drinks
  • Use a mouth guard to avoid teeth grinding