Many of us wouldn’t hesitate to call our doctor or physician if we felt a twinge of pain in our neck or back. However, all too often when it comes to our teeth, we shrug off small signs of discomfort or sensitivity. But we should show our oral care the same attention we give the rest of our body.
Any sensation on or around the tooth is the first sign something isn’t right, and it starts at the surface. The #1 cause of sensitivity is when a tooth’s enamel is worn down or damaged to the point where the dentin (the part of your tooth that surrounds the nerves in our teeth) is exposed. Brushing too aggressively, grinding your teeth in your sleep, overly exposing your teeth to sugary food and drink, cracking or chipping a tooth are all ways to provoke sensitivity.
But not every cause of tooth sensitivity is common knowledge. Another way your enamel can be damaged is by chewing your nails. This habit is unhygienic. Additionally, fingernails that are sharp or sturdy can chip a tooth or damage the enamel.
On a similar note, we should talk about what we should be using our teeth for. No tooth is meant to replace a literal tool, whether it’s a bottle opener, scissor, or otherwise. The trauma inflicted on your teeth every time you use them as a tool will add up over time. This could prove much more costly than simply replacing a bottle opener.
Healing Tooth Sensitivity at Home
With your dentist’s approval, try a desensitizing toothpaste. The most active ingredient should be potassium nitrate, a compound that blocks pain signals from traveling from your tooth to your brain.
Another simple help for your dental health is using unsweetened green tea as a mouthwash. Along with other benefits for our bodies, green tea can strengthen your teeth and reduce inflammation in your mouth.
Another way to increase your mouth’s pH level and prevent bacteria buildup is by rinsing with warm salt water a couple of times a week.
Sensitivity gets worse the longer it is left untreated. Enamel doesn’t grow back. Once you feel any discomfort or unusual sensation in your mouth, call your dentist and discuss the possibility of needing a filling. This will relieve discomfort and keep the nerve safe from bacteria. The alternative? Bacteria can quickly eat away at your enamel and you could end up needing a root canal, which can be painful and expensive.
To protect your teeth, regular checkups are essential. Luckily, ASBA has a Dental Plan that’s right for you. Get coverage for everything from routine checkups to fillings, procedures, and more. You can see any dentist you choose with even bigger savings with an In-Network provider. Enroll today!