The pain of sensitive teeth can go from an annoying ache to a major pain in almost no time, making relieving the pain an immediate priority. The good news is that there are short- and long-term solutions that can ease the pain—as long as there are no underlying conditions.
There are many reasons why teeth hurt; don’t assume that the pain isn’t connected to another dental problem. Damaged teeth, receding gums, teeth grinding, and even cavities can cause sensitive teeth. (Schedule an appointment with the dentist to check for any of these issues.) If left untreated, the sensitive teeth—and the pain—can progress and worsen over time.
The pain from sensitive teeth stems from an erosion of the protective layer of teeth, called enamel. When enamel wears down, it exposes sensitive inner layers and causes pain.
There are many ways to ease the pain of sensitive teeth:
- Buy a soft-bristled brush. Hard brushing can exacerbate the symptoms of sensitive teeth. A soft-bristled toothbrush, along with soft brushing and circular strokes, can alleviate the pain.
- Avoid foods that can trigger sensitive teeth pain. Certain foods, especially acidic, hot and cold foods, can cause sensitive teeth pain. There is not a definite list because the exact foods are different for everyone. Take note of the foods that cause the pain and stay away from them.
- Switch to a toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth. An experienced dentist can suggest several toothpastes that can strengthen enamel and ease the pain of sensitive teeth. Most sensitivity toothpastes are a long-term solution and can take 2-4 weeks to alleviate symptoms.
- Use fluoridated products. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, making products with fluoride a must. Look for fluoridated toothpastes and mouthwashes that can be an effective way to make teeth stronger and lessen the pain of sensitive teeth.
- Treat teeth grinding. Also called bruxism, teeth grinding can wear down enamel and cause the pain of sensitive teeth. If teeth grinding is the source of teeth sensitivity, schedule an appointment with a dentist to find out treatment options and stop the pain from sensitive teeth.