Many people have experienced sensitive teeth which makes eating and drinking uncomfortable to say the least. It is very painful and can affect people overall attitude and well-being. Sufferers if not treated can develop phobias but they can be assured that it is absolutely treatable.
What happens after drinking or eating something cold, breathing in cold air in winter brings on pain in the affected teeth which can be quite intense. With unbearable pain the nerve could be exposed and needs to be seen by a dentist.
Many people through use of a hard bristled tooth brush gradually wear away the gum around the neck of the teeth and thereby exposing the root surface of the teeth and the dentine layer of the tooth. Being exposed the roots have no protection and as the dentine is composed of tubules which deal directly with the nerve any stimulation will result in extreme pain until the stimulus is removed.
Not everyone with receding gums and exposed dentine will experience pain but those that do will suffer until they professional help from their dentist.
The best treatment in all cases is to prevent the gums receding in the first place and this is by keeping them healthy by not over brushing. Using less pressure will help as well as using a technique with a soft bristled tooth brush.
The technique is angling the head of the toothbrush at about 45 degrees to the gum line on the lip or cheek side of the tooth so that it starts at the junction between the gum and the tooth and slow controlled sideways movement back and forth will remove plaque And food debris from this vulnerable area. The toothbrush is then brushed along the tooth away from the gum line.
Many patients have not been properly instructed by their dentist and that is one reason gum recession is commonly caused by over brushing and the resulting pain is a real one for many.
With electric toothbrushes such as Sonicare there is no physical contact with the teeth or gums and this will significantly be a lot easier to use.
Sensitivity can be reduced with toothpastes which contain potassium nitrate to reduce the pain and discomfort, with Sensodyne being a popular choice for many sufferers, as it stops the pain quickly and efficiently by blocking the openings of these tubules.
The use of fluoride containing mouthwashes can also help with teeth sensitivity.
It is advisable to avoid alcohol containing mouthwashes as the alcohol will dry the mouth out and reduce saliva flow which is critical in keeping the oral tissues moist and help to buffer acidity in the mouth and thereby reducing the formation of dental decay.
If the use of sensitive toothpastes and mouthwashes do not reduce or eliminate the pain then your dentist may need to bond an adhesive filling to cover the exposed areas. This is the next step in treatment options.
In extreme cases root canal treatment where the nerve of the tooth is removed altogether will relieve the pain, and obviously at this stage complex dentistry is required.
For many people this level of treatment must be avoided and this is only done by patients presenting early in the first place so that phobias from resulting pain do not develop.