An estimated 40 million adults in the United States suffer from sensitive teeth. Tooth pain from acidic or sugary foods and beverages, hot and cold, and pressure is typically the result of thinned tooth enamel or exposed tooth roots. These issues result from a complex interaction of genetics and lifestyle factors, such as wear-and-tear, nighttime teeth grinding, poor diet, mouth trauma, excessive pressure when brushing, and the use of tobacco products. Having sensitive teeth can make daily activities like brushing, eating, and drinking a painful experience. And the onset of colder wintry weather can make the discomfort even more pronounced. Here, we offer a few tips for how to deal with this painful problem.
Tips to Handle Sensitive Teeth
- Limit Your Consumption of Acidic Foods & Drinks
- Brush Gently Using an Anti-Sensitivity Toothpaste
- Use a Mouthguard & Nightguard
- Have a Warm Beverage Handy
- Wear a Scarf Outside
- Breathe In Through Your Nose & Out Through Your Mouth
- Consult with Our Expert Team
Acidic foods and drinks—such as carbonated beverages, citrus fruits, and wine—can gradually dissolve small amounts of tooth enamel, which further exposes nerves and results in pain. Of course, avoiding these things is easier said than done. If you can’t resist an occasional glass of orange juice, use a straw to help limit contact of the fluid with your teeth. But better yet–drink water!
Desensitizing toothpastes are widely available, and their routine use is typically effective at reducing tooth sensitivity over time. If you don’t notice the positive effect right away, be patient, because it often takes several rounds of brushing to yield the desired effect. Additionally, only use a soft-bristled toothbrush and be careful to not brush with excessive pressure. Brushing too hard can wear down the enamel and create sensitive areas on teeth. If the bristles on your toothbrush are smashed into various directions, that’s a sure sign that you’re brushing with too much force. Using an electric toothbrush with a built-in pressure sensor can help you brush with a safe level of pressure.
To protect your teeth from damage and trauma (that will worsen sensitivity), wear a custom-crafted mouthguard when participating in winter sports and a nightguard if you grind your teeth during sleep.
Sipping on your favorite warm drink from a thermos while outside in the cold is an simple way to keep your teeth from feeling like they are freezing. Just be sure it is sugar-free or at least low in sugar, and not too hot.
Putting a scarf around your face is a simple way to help prevent cold air from entering your mouth. It also keeps your lower jaw and neck warm and comfortable.
If you inhale cold air through your mouth, it’s going to come into contact with your teeth, so try breathing in through your nose and exhaling the warm air from your lungs through your mouth. This limits your teeth’s exposure to the outside colder air.
If you are experiencing sensitive teeth, whether during cold weather, eating, drinking, or brushing, we are here to help ease your tooth pain. Contact us at Spanaway Dental Wellness to set up an appointment with Dr. Perlman or Dr. Mai.
We want to help you have as pain-free a smile as possible.Contact Us