Ever felt a tiny tingle or a sharp pain in your teeth after a steaming cup of green tea or a tall glass of chilled lemonade? Well, sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you might be suffering from dentin hypersensitivity or sensitive tooth. Simply put, the condition implies your teeth are over-sensitive to anything hot or cold: AKA, anything hot is way too hot and anything cold is very cold for your pearlies; oh, and sometimes anything too sugary or acidic can also trigger pain (yikes).
So, what causes your teeth to suddenly turn sensitive? The most common cause is exposed dentin. Dentin is the soft protective tissue beneath the enamel that covers the inner part of your tooth and roots. When the dentin is damaged or exposed, then triggers such as hot, cold foods or sticky substances can reach the nerves, causing irritation and pain. Some of the many reasons that causes your dentin to become exposed or corroded includes gum recession, plaque build-up, minute cracks in teeth, wear and tear, acidic food or drinks, teeth grinding, brushing too hard or even post-dental treatment sensitivity.
However, the good news is that there are ways you can diminish the symptoms by simply tweaking your dental care routine.
Scroll down for a fail-proof guide to make your life a little less painful.
1. Opt For A De-Sensitizing Toothpaste
Believe us when we say this: this can make a world of difference and ease your discomfort if used regularly. Brushing with a toothpaste formulated specifically for sensitive teeth helps desensitize the nerves in the teeth. Try Sensodyne Sensitive Toothpaste that can actually repair sensitive parts of your teeth by forming a layer over vulnerable areas of the tooth; plus, it contains fluoride to prevent cavities. For best results, use twice daily.
2. Use A Soft-Bristled Brush
Did you know that brushing too hard can wear down the enamel, thereby causing the dentin to get exposed? Well, it is time to swap your regular brush for one that has soft bristles; we recommend the Oral-B Sensitiv Developed For Sensitive Gums & Teeth Toothbrush with dual bristles that removes surface stains and cleans sensitive gums oh-so-gently. In case you favour electric toothbrushes, opt one with multiple modes (one being sensitive) that will give you the precision without being too harsh.
3. Avoid Trigger Food
This one goes without saying. Tart, cold and acidic foods can weaken your enamel and cause it to thin out even more. Hence, foods to avoid if you suffer from sensitive teeth include ice cream, sodas, red wine, juices, candies, coffee, sour fruit, yogurts, and even pickled products. However, in case you can’t give up on them completely, try pairing them with food that are low in acidity such as nuts, cheese, oatmeal, mangoes, melons, bananas, apples, whole grains etc. that will aid in neutralizing the acids.
4. Use A Fluoride Rinse
Ingredients such as Sodium Fluoride, Stannous Fluoride, and Calcium Phosphate, can help make teeth stronger. In fact, Fluoride is an active ingredient in many toothpastes because it repairs light damage to your teeth by restoring tooth enamel. Hence rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash like Listerine Cavity Fighter Mouthwash once daily can decrease sensitivity and diminish the pain. We promise.
5. Try DIYs At Home
There are several home remedies that can help ease your discomfort. To alleviate pain symptoms from sensitive teeth, gargle with a salt-water rinse twice daily. You can also use Green Tea (unsweetened) like Lipton Pure & Light Green Tea as a mouth wash daily to strengthen teeth and reduce inflammation.
*PS: Do consult your dentist if the pain persists for more than a month despite taking these precautions.
The best toothpaste guide for all tooth concerns is here! Check out: