Preventing the Re-occurrence of Pain from Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity can be one of the most painful dental issues that people experience during their lifetime. If you have tooth sensitivity, you can prevent the pain from re-occurring.

There are several ways to prevent the reoccurrence of pain from tooth sensitivity, and to prevent further tooth damage that is the predisposing factor, including:

  1. Don’t use a hard bristled toothbrush which can contribute to both gum recession and loss of tooth enamel. Consider using a soft bristled toothbrush.

  2. Try not to brush too hard. This can wear away the enamel (the hard external layer of the crown of the tooth) to expose the dentin (which is the softer layer under the enamel, and/or abrade the gums causing recession and exposure of the dentin (root below the gums).

  3. Try not to eat acidic foods like citrus fruits, tomatoes, pickles, etc., which can wear away the tooth enamel and cause tooth erosion.

  4. Use a fluoride toothpaste that contains a desensitizing agent to protect the enamel and root surface of your teeth.

  5. If you are scheduling to have a tooth whitening treatment conducted by the dentist, you may want to consider using a sensitive toothpaste for two weeks prior to the whitening treatment to provide potassium nitrate to sooth the tooth nerves. Talk to your dentist about this prior to your procedure.

There are other conditions which give rise to pain, all of which require diagnosis and treatment by the dentist, but are not tooth sensitivity:

  1. If you have tooth decay, see your dentist to have a restoration placed in the tooth, or, if necessary have it removed.

  2. If you have a cracked tooth, see your dentist to fix it.

  3. If you are stressed and grind or clench your teeth together (usually at night), see your dentist for a mouth guard or INT to relieve your jaws from this issue.

It is important to conduct proper oral hygiene care at home using floss at least once a day, brushing with fluoride toothpaste and seeing your dental professional for a scaling and polishing every 6 months or as recommended.

Talk to your dentist to discuss options that can help you prevent tooth sensitivity and determine the best solutions to this prevalent condition.

© Copyright 2011 Colgate-Palmolive Company

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Tooth sensitivity occurs when the enamel that protects our teeth gets thinner, or when gum recession occurs, exposing the underlying surface, the dentin, thus, reducing the protection the enamel and gums provide to the tooth and root.

Signs & Symptoms

If hot, cold, sweet or very acidic foods and drinks, or breathing in cold air, makes your teeth or a tooth sensitive or painful, then you may have sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity can come and go over time.