We asked a dentist to share what she thinks all patients should know about sensitive teeth. Read on to learn more.
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, more than 40 million Americans have sensitive teeth. The truth is, we will all probably experience some sort of tooth sensitivity for one reason or another. Luckily, there are simple remedies out there to help ease the pain.
Most of Us Have Probably Already Experienced Tooth Sensitivity
If you’ve ever felt a sudden ache in your mouth after eating ice cream, hot soup, or even from a cold gust of Winter wind, you’re not alone. According to Dr. Lory Richter, DDS, “Our teeth are porous, so when there are temperature changes in our mouths, that stimulus travels through the pores in the enamel and into the center of the tooth, where the nerves and blood vessels are, causing pain.”
Everyone’s teeth are different, explains Dr. Richter, which is why reactions to temperature can differ so much.
What Can You Do to Ease the Pain?
Let’s face it: it’s pretty hard to avoid every type of food or drink that’s hot or cold, but if you experience semiregular tooth sensitivity, over-the-counter sensitivity toothpastes are your secret weapon. “With these products, it will usually take using the product consistently for about two weeks for you to notice a difference,” says Richter.
Unless, of course, you’re brushing with Sensodyne Rapid Relief toothpaste. Sensodyne Rapid Relief delivers proven pain relief in as little as three days (when used twice daily). It’s the number one dentist recommended toothpaste brand for sensitive teeth.
When Should You Consult a Dentist?
While occasional tooth sensitivity can usually be treated at home, excessive tooth sensitivity can be indicative of bigger problems. According to Richter, “if you have sensitivity that lingers for more than a few seconds then you may have a cavity.”
In addition to that, the bad news is that if you have constant tooth sensitivity whenever you eat, it’s probably a bigger issue, too. “Constant tooth pain or tooth pain that wakes you up from a deep sleep may be indicative of a bigger problem,” Richter cautions. In either of these cases Richter recommends consulting your dentist sooner rather than later.
Most mild cases of tooth sensitivity aren’t worth panicking over, and they certainly don’t have to mean you can no longer enjoy ice cream or long walks out in the cold. Choosing a speciality toothpaste like Sensodyne Rapid Relief can bring quick relief in three days — so quick you won’t even have to give it a second thought!