One of the most common complaints people bring to Dr. Wang are those regarding tooth sensitivity. Also known as dentin hypersensitivity, more than three million adults suffer from this in the United States alone. More than half of the U.S. population will experience sensitivity in their lifetime.
Symptoms of Dental Sensitivity
Dental sensitivity is characterized by pain or discomfort when you eat or drink hot or cold beverages, when breathing cold air, or when eating acidic foods. Because this issue tends to come and go, we don’t look for a specific time frame before diagnosing.
What causes dental sensitivity?
The most common cause of dental sensitivity is poor oral hygiene. This is because when a person doesn’t brush or floss properly their gums can recede and lead to exposed roots. However, problems like bulimia or GERD can also lead to tooth sensitivity because the constant washing of teeth in stomach acid erodes the enamel.
The number one way to prevent dental sensitivity from developing is to stick to a healthy oral hygiene routine. Brush twice a day, floss at least once a day, and get in for your twice a year dental check-ups. We also recommend you avoid acidic foods like tomatoes if you’re more prone to developing sensitivity.
There are several ways you can treat tooth sensitivity, including sensitive toothpastes. These can be purchased at any drug store and are unique in that they’re free of abrasives and designed to change the ion charge in your teeth. When choosing a sensitive toothpaste, pay attention to the active ingredient. Sometimes the more expensive options aren’t always more effective.
You can also talk to Dr. Wang about an at-home fluoride gel or rinse, which can prevent decay. Or, a better long-term option, is a fluoride varnish that the doctor brushes on.
Tooth sensitivity is often a sign or early decay. When you start to notice signs of it give us a call and make an appointment to see the doctor and get down to the root of the problem. Catching decay early on can help solve the problem and prevent the need for more invasive and costly treatments down the line.
Patients who have tried to change their lifestyle as well as toothpastes and haven’t found relief should talk to Dr. Wang. We can take a look at what you’re doing and find a solution that works for you. Tooth sensitivity can really impact your lifestyle, so we recommend addressing it as soon as possible.