What can I do to reduce tooth sensitivity?
- Maintain good oral hygiene: Continue to follow proper brushing and flossing techniques to thoroughly clean all parts of your teeth and mouth.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush: This will result in less toothbrush abrasion to the tooth surface and less irritation to your gums. Brush gently and carefully around the gum line so you do not remove more gum tissue.
- Use desensitizing toothpaste: There are several brands of toothpaste available for sensitive teeth. With regular use, you should notice a decrease in sensitivity. You may need to try several different brands to find the product that works best for you. Another tip: spread a thin layer of the toothpaste on the exposed tooth roots with your finger or a Q-tip before you go to bed. Do not use a tartar control toothpaste; rather, use a fluoridated toothpaste.
- Watch what you eat: Frequent consumption of highly acid foods can gradually dissolve tooth enamel and lead to dentin exposure. They may also aggravate the sensitivity and start the pain reaction.
- Use fluoridated dental products: Daily use of a fluoridated mouth rinse can decrease sensitivity. Ask your dentist about available products for home use.
- Avoid teeth grinding: If you grind or clench your teeth, use a mouth guard at night.
- See your dentist at regular intervals: Get professional tooth cleaning, oral hygiene instructions, and fluoride treatments every 6 months.
If you still have discomfort, talk to your dentist. There are some dental procedures that may help reduce sensitivity, including the use of:
- White fillings (bonding) to cover exposed root surfaces
- Fluoride varnishes applied to the exposed root surface
- Dentin sealers applied to the exposed root surface