Living with Sensitive Teeth in Prescott
Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common complaints among dental patients. At least 40 million people in the US suffer from tooth sensitivity. Here at Prescott Dentistry, we want to help you understand why your teeth are sensitive and what you can do about it. We know how frustrating it can be if you’re living with sensitive teeth!
Why are my Teeth Sensitive?
Sensitivity in the teeth happens when dentin, the layer under the tooth enamel, is exposed. The hard enamel serves to protect the softer underlying layer of dentin. So when the enamel wears down, the dentin is exposed and sensitivity occurs. Gum recession, cavities, and root erosion can also cause the dentin to be exposed. Sensitivity is usually characterized by pain upon eating or drinking something hot or cold.
So what Causes These Things to Happen?
- Tooth decay
- Using a hard-bristled toothbrush
- Brushing too hard
- Grinding your teeth
- Using a tooth-whitening toothpaste
- Using mouthwash with alcohol
- Excessive plaque buildup
- Gum disease
- Acidic foods
How is it Typically Treated?
The first step is to talk to your dentist here at Prescott Dentistry to discover the underlying cause of your sensitivity. After the root cause is determined, some of the things we might recommend include:
- Switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Wearing a mouthguard if you are grinding your teeth at night
- Non-invasive desensitizing treatments like ozone/oxygen
- Switching to a toothpaste specifically formulated for sensitive teeth
- Switching to a neutral mouthwash or skipping it altogether and focusing on brushing and flossing
- Avoiding acidic foods
- Treating gum disease, or applying a sealant
- Surgical gum graft if exposed roots are the cause of your sensitivity
What are some holistic treatments?
- Saltwater rinse— Salt is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Add ½ to ¾ tsp of salt to lukewarm water and swish for 30 seconds twice a day.
- Oil Pulling — This has many benefits, one of which is decreasing tooth sensitivity. Swish 1 tablespoon of coconut oil for 20 minutes daily then spit and rinse with warm water.
- Clove Essential Oil — a 2013 study published in the Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine showed clove oil is beneficial for reducing tooth sensitivity and toothaches. When clove oil is mixed with orange essential oil, it creates an even more potent solution for soothing sensitive teeth. It is essential to always dilute it with a carrier oil first, such as coconut or almond oil. The best way to use it for relieving teeth sensitivity is to combine one drop of pure clove oil and one drop of pure orange essential oil with 4 drops of a carrier oil.
Tooth sensitivity is very treatable. We hope these suggestions were helpful, but if tooth sensitivity is a problem for you, schedule an appointment with us. We can determine the root cause of your sensitive teeth in order to know how to best treat it. Let our practitioners at Prescott Dentistry help you so that you don’t have to continue living with sensitive teeth!
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (1/7/2019) Pixaby