Sensitive teeth occur when the underlying layer of your teeth –the dentine – becomes exposed as a result of receding gum tissue (the protective blanket that covers the tooth roots) or/and tooth decay.
The roots, which are not covered by hard enamel, contain thousands of tiny tubules leading to the tooth’s nerve center (the pulp). These dentinal tubules (or channels) allow the stimuli – for example, the hot, cold, or sweet food – to reach the nerve in your tooth, which results in the pain you feel.
1. Maintain good oral hygiene.
Brush your teeth gently twice a day (morning and night) and floss before going to bed; thoroughly clean all parts of your teeth and mouth.
2. Use of soft bristled toothbrush.
Tooth brushes can be hard, medium or soft. Using hard brush and brushing your teeth too vigorously for a long time can wear down enamel and cause the dentin to be exposed. It can also cause recession of the gums
The use of soft tooth brushes will result in less toothbrush injury to the tooth surface and less irritation to your gums. Brush gently and carefully around the gum line so you do not remove gum tissue especially at the base.
3. Use desensitizing toothpaste.
There are several brands of toothpaste available for sensitive teeth. With regular use you should notice a decrease in sensitivity. There are several of them in the market; one is quite popular in the Nigerian market.
4. Watch what you eat.
Avoid high consumption of highly acidic food (oranges, tomatoes, tea) as they can gradually dissolve tooth enamel and lead to dentin exposure. Tooth decay occurs when foods containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches), such as breads, cereals, milk, soda, fruits, cakes, or candy are left on the teeth. Avoid excessive consumption of sugars.
5. Use fluoridated dental products.
Daily use of a fluoridated mouth rinse can decrease tooth sensitivity. Ask your dentist about available products for home use.
6. See your dentist twice a year.
People are advised to see a dentist twice a year for dental check-up. Dental cleaning could be done during the visit. Cleaning your teeth removes debris and others.