5 Tips for Living With Sensitive Teeth

If you have sensitive teeth, you have probably experienced the discomfort of biting into something cold or hot. Sensitive teeth, which are often categorized by extreme sensitivity to heat and cold, often occur when the dental nerves receive too much stimulation.

Tooth enamel, which is the outermost coating of the teeth, blocks some of the heat and cold from reaching sensitive nerves. However, when the enamel has worn away or been damaged, the underlying dentin layer is exposed. Dentin contains tiny canals called tubules. If a hot or cold substance is ingested with the tubules exposed, the dental nerves that lie within the center or pulp of the tooth are stimulated, causing discomfort.

Nevertheless, if you suffer from sensitive teeth, there are some measures that you can take to make living with the condition a bit easier. Here are a few tips to get you started.

1. Brush with a fluoride toothpaste that is designed for sensitive teeth.

Toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth contains special components, such as potassium nitrate, that help desensitize the tooth by blocking the tubules that transmit the stimulus to the dental nerves.

Although it may be tempting to only use the toothpaste when your teeth feel uncomfortable, it is important to use the product regularly. The effectiveness of the toothpaste can build up over time.

Also, be sure that the sensitive toothpaste contains fluoride. Fluoride helps remineralize tooth enamel by attracting displaced minerals, such as phosphorus or calcium, back to the surface of the teeth. There, the fluoride combines with these substances to form new enamel that is better able to resist damage from acids.

2. Be gentle when you brush.

There are many different types of toothbrushes that are available nowadays. However, it is important to select a brush with soft bristles, which are less likely to damage the tooth enamel and worsen your dental sensitivity.

In addition, be sure that you brush your teeth gently. Scrubbing your teeth forcefully– even with soft bristles– can be damaging, especially if you brush for the recommended two minutes. If you believe that you may be scrubbing your teeth too harshly or vigorously, you may benefit from buying an electronic toothbrush with a pressure sensor. The sensor stops the brush bristles from vibrating or rotating whenever too much pressure is applied to the teeth and gums.

3. Steer clear of acidic beverages and foods.

Enamel damage is often caused by your teeth’s exposure to acid. In fact, cavities occur because of the corrosion of the tooth enamel by bacterial acids. Still, many of the foods and drinks that people regularly consume have a low or acidic pH. Popular items, such as fruit juice, sodas and even wine can cause damage to your tooth enamel.

To minimize further damage to the outermost layer of your teeth, try to restrict your intake of acidic drinks and foods, including seemingly healthy items, such as citrus fruits and pickles. In addition, be sure to delay brushing for at least 20 minutes if you choose to eat or drink acidic substances. If you brush earlier, you may cause greater enamel damage because the tooth enamel is in a softened state due to the exposure to the acids.

4. Wear a mouthguard.

If you suffer from bruxism, a condition in which you grind your teeth nightly, wearing a mouthguard can help lessen the wear and tear on your tooth enamel. Since people with bruxism often do not even realize that they are grinding their teeth, it is important to wear the guard every night.

There are many guards available for purchase over-the-counter. In addition, for an even better fit, your dentist can provide you with a customized guard.

5. Brush and floss regularly.

Brushing and flossing each day can help ensure that your tooth enamel and gums remain in good condition. Your gums may recede if they are regularly inflamed by plaque and bacterial acids. This recession can increase your dental sensitivity because portions of your tooth root that are normally covered by your gums may suddenly be exposed.

To learn more about dental sensitivity and its treatment options, contact our office to schedule a consultation.

Hancock Village Dental

2560 E, State Rte 50

Suite 103

Clermont, FL 34711


Excellent staff. I have been to a lot of dentists over my years, but this staff was the best ever. Very Impressed. The hygenist taught me a lot about my teeth that I never knew. The office was extremely clean and used modern technology. I was seen in a very timely manner and didn't have to wait at all. I highly recommend going to this practice!

Laura Stein | Florida

Very friendly and made the visit extremely comfortable for my children! They can't wait to go back.

Jennifer Gomez | Florida

For a child to say he is so excited to see the dentist is a GO for me as a mom. The atmosphere is just awesome and so friendly. The staff is phenomenal and family oriented. This is where you should be for your dental needs.

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