Spring is nearly upon us here in Louisiana, with Summer following shortly after. The season of ice cream and other cold treats is one many of us look forward to. Unfortunately, due to tooth sensitivity, some individuals have to restrict some foods they eat. When eating a delicious bowl of ice cream causes intense pain, what are you to do? Dr. Diem Do and the team at Smile in Style, Diem Do DDS in Marrero understand the problems tooth sensitivity can cause and would like to help you get down to the root cause so that you can enjoy refreshing summer treats!
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
If you have ever gone to eat or drink something that is either hot or cold and it left one or more of your teeth sore, then you suffer from tooth sensitivity. For some, this sensitivity can be so intense that even sucking in cool air can cause some discomfort. When you develop gum disease, and it is allowed to progress to the point where your gum tissue has begun to recede, it will leave the dentin of your teeth exposed. Also, when your gums recede, the tooth’s roots can eventually become exposed. It’s this part of the tooth (which is usually protected) that consists of thousands of channels that lead straight to the pulp of the tooth. The dentinal tubules, when exposed, send sensations straight to your tooth’s nerves when they are exposed to hot or cold. That is what causes the pain and discomfort.
Pregnant women are also more prone to tooth sensitivity because of the hormonal changes they go through and an increase in blood flow. Hormonal changes put women who are pregnant at an increased risk of gingivitis. If you are pregnant, make sure and see your dentist and commit yourself to a good at-home oral hygiene regimen, so gum disease does not become an issue. If you develop pregnancy-related tooth sensitivity, choosing a toothpaste designed to help with sensitive teeth is a good option.
How You Can Help Tooth Sensitivity
Check Your Toothbrush
An easy and proactive step you can take in combating tooth sensitivity is to make sure you are not brushing too hard and brushing with a soft-bristled brush. When you brush too hard, it can lead to your gums pulling back from the tooth. Also, an important note to remember is that brushing too hard is not just bad for your gums but also the enamel of your tooth. Brushing too hard can begin to wear away your tooth’s enamel. If you are not already using a soft-bristled brush, it is a good idea to go ahead and make the switch.
Eliminate Whitening Products
Whitening products that you buy over the counter can be abrasive and wear at the enamel of your teeth. Products include whitening toothpaste, mouthwashes, and strips containing phosphates that wear and break down enamel over time. Long-term use of these products has been linked to increased tooth sensitivity.
Reduce Tooth Grinding
When you chronically grind or clench your teeth, this is known as bruxism. That is a subconscious habit that usually occurs as you sleep but can also occur while awake and stressed. Over time, bruxism can lead to gum recession. Speak to your dentist if you believe you are grinding your teeth. Signs of bruxism include waking up with a sore jaw or chronic morning headaches.
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity and would like assistance, please schedule an appointment at Smile in Style, Diem Do DDS. Please call (504) 340-9400 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Do.
Dr. Diem Do set up his private practice after graduating from the University of New Orleans and LSU School of Dentistry. He follows continuing education for the benefit of his patients. Dr. Tami Nguyen is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana and LSU School of Dentistry. Both are members of top professional organizations like the American Dental Association and New Orleans and Louisiana Dental Associations. They are trusted and respected by the community for their high-quality dental services.
Our patients have wonderful things to say about the care they receive from Dr. Do and his team.
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