Do you feel sharp pain when you eat, drink, or brush your teeth? You may have sensitive teeth. Worn enamel or exposed tooth roots can cause sensitivity. Cavities, cracked teeth, gum disease, or a reaction to bleaching can also cause temporary tooth pain. But you don’t have to suffer. Here are some steps you can take to ease your discomfort:
• Your dentist can diagnose the source of your tooth pain. It may require a new filling or replacing a filling. Your dentist may also recommend a crown, a cap that covers a damaged or fractured tooth.
• Damage to the tooth’s pulp (soft core) may require a root canal, a procedure that involves removing the infected pulp and restoring it with a filling or crown.
• The application of fluoride gel reduces the painful sensations by strengthening the tooth enamel. You need to go to your dentist’s office for this procedure.
• If gum tissue is missing from the root, a surgical gum graft will fix the problem and reduce sensitivity.
• Desensitizing toothpaste blocks painful sensations from the tooth’s surface to the nerve.
The best way to prevent sensitive teeth is to brush twice a day with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Limit acidic drinks — wine, fruit juice, and sodas — because they can wear down tooth enamel. If you do consume an acidic beverage, follow it by drinking milk or water to help balance the acid levels in your mouth.