Dealing With Sensitive Teeth

Nov 16, 2017 by

You take a drink of hot tea and your teeth protest. You take a drink of ice water and your teeth don’t like that either. Even eating certain foods seems to set off your mouth occasionally. When you have sensitive teeth, eating and drinking is a minefield. Food should be something we can enjoy with friends and loved ones, or even by ourselves as we watch another episode of Parks and Recreation on Netflix. It shouldn’t be something akin to torture.

See a professional

If you haven’t already, call your dentist’s office. They’ve heard just about every teeth-related scenario imaginable, so talking about sensitive teeth won’t phase them. Chances are the sensitivity is at its worst in one part of your mouth. If, for instance, the lower left side of your mouth is killing you, you may have a cavity or other issue that needs to be addressed. You may have to get X-rays to identify the problem. If there’s no clear issue, you may be brushing your teeth incorrectly. Bearing down too hard on your teeth can cause pain and sensitivity. You may even be wearing down the enamel on some of your teeth, which exposes the root and causes even more pain.

Brush mindfully

It’s hard to break habits, but you’ve got to be nicer to your teeth. If you’re using a medium-bristle toothbrush, drop down to soft bristle. And next time you brush, do so more mindfully. Most of us grab a toothbrush and move it around our mouth for a couple of minutes, and bam, we’re done. Pay attention to where you position the toothbrush at the beginning of your brushing routine. If you’re right-handed, you’re probably starting on the lower left side of your mouth. If you’re left-handed, you’re probably beginning on the lower right side. Make an active effort to place your toothbrush in a different part of your mouth. You may very well be working over one portion of your mouth too hard without even realizing it.

Some of us are just more vigorous tooth brushers than others. It’s hard to know why. Maybe a dentist scolded us for not brushing hard enough as a kid and we’ve never really gotten over it. Either way, it’s OK to ease up a little. Brushing all around your teeth and gums is the most important thing. And don’t forget to floss regularly, of course.

Change your toothpaste

Even if you stop brushing your teeth so vigorously, you may still experience some pain. Many people find switching to a special toothpaste for sensitive teeth helps. Sensodyne is a popular brand. If you’re still hurting after all that, feel free to go back to your dentist and ask for advice. You may be one of the unlucky ones who has pain in their teeth for no apparent reason. If your jaw hurts or you wake up feeling like your teeth have been through the wringer, it’s possible you’re grinding your teeth in your sleep. There’s a special night guard that may help, or you may need to be treated for an underlying sleep disorder. If that’s the case, you’ll need to see a sleep specialist. Dentists can work wonders, but they can’t help you sleep better.

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