QUESTION: What can I do about my sensitive teeth?
Sensitivity typically occurs as a result of consuming hot or cold foods or breathing cold air. However, these are not the only reasons so it is best to understand why you have sensitive teeth first before undergoing a regimen that may not be necessary or sufficient.
There are several reasons why you are sensitive. Brushing too hard can cause your gumline to recede which exposes the root portion of your tooth resulting in increased sensitivity. Your enamel protects the portion of tooth above the gumline and your gums protect the portion below it but when your gums recede, so goes your protection as well. Poor oral health care can result in gingivitis and periodontal disease that results in bone loss and gum recession exposing the roots and increasing your sensitivity. Additional causes can also be untreated cavities, recent fillings, or a cracked tooth.
The best treatment for your sensitivity depends on the cause. Generally, you should use a soft or ultra-soft toothbrush and brush lightly. Switching to a toothpaste containing either potassium nitrate or strontium chloride can decrease your sensitivity over time if the cause is from gum recession. In addition, you must have good oral hygiene which should include flossing daily, brushing at least twice a day, using an oral rinse, and seeing your dentist for regular check-ups. If the cause is more severe, then a more aggressive treatment will be required such as a filling, root canal, or gum surgery.
No matter what your condition is, speak to your dentist and together you will be able to identify what the cause of your sensitivity is and what the best treatment should be. If you have any questions about this article then please don't hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.