If you’ve winced when biting into an apple or felt a sudden shock of pain when you eat an ice cream or sip a hot chocolate, you’re not alone. Tooth sensitivity is a very common problem, but you don’t have to suffer, as there are some treatments that can help.
Sensitivity occurs when the nerves are exposed; the nerve tissue is found in the dentin section of the tooth, which lies underneath the hard enamel outer surface. When the enamel is damaged or it becomes thin or worn, the dentin is exposed and this causes you to feel pain. The enamel can be damaged by injury or trauma and it may also become thin and weak as a result of acid erosion, which is usually linked to your diet. Acidic foods weaken the enamel, but eating sugary foods can also contribute to enamel wear, as bacteria feed on sugar and this causes them to release plaque acids, which erode the enamel.
Brushing too hard can also increase the risk of enamel wear.
If you have sensitive teeth, it’s advisable to use sensitive toothpaste. These types of toothpaste are specially designed to relieve pain associated with sensitivity instantly and also to reduce the risk of sensitivity in the future.
If you suffer from tooth pain on a regular basis or there is one tooth that is particularly painful when you eat something hot or cold or bite down, this may be indicative of tooth decay and it’s a good idea to book an appointment with your dentist. If you have a cavity, it will get bigger, you’ll experience more pain and there is a risk that the infection could spread to other parts of the tooth, so it’s best to get treatment as early as possible. The most common treatment for a cavity is a filling.
You can also use simple steps, such as using a straw to drink cold drinks and cutting up apples, rather than biting into them, to help reduce pain.
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