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Tooth sensitivity | Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

In our previous blog, we shared what is tooth sensitivity, and the causes behind the same. In continuation of the same, Dr. Suwarna Upare shares some of the major symptoms, the prevention, and possible cure for sensitivity in teeth.

How to look out for sensitive teeth?

Girl holding glass with sensitive teeth

Symptoms of sensitive teeth may vary from a range of mild to intense pain. In most cases, patients can not point out the exact tooth which is the cause for sensitivity. One only feels the same in a generalized manner, all over the mouth. This also reduces the biting power of the tooth considerably. The pain is generally triggered by exposing the affected tooth to acidic foods and beverages, hot and cold food and beverages, brushing and flossing, and using alcohol-based mouthwash.

Can sensitive teeth be cured?

Guy holding glass with sensitive tooth

In most cases, the treatment of sensitive teeth is very much possible. Finding the root cause behind sensitivity is the first step involved in treating tooth sensitivity issues. Sensitivity pain may be less or more, may come and go, and can also be temporary or permanent, as it varies from person to person. There are some basic as well as advanced treatments available to treat the pain due to sensitivity.

On a case-to-case basis, a dentist may suggest one or more of the following over the counter treatments to reduce the pain:

  • Using toothpaste available for cleaning sensitive teeth

  • Fillings for covering exposed roots

  • The use of fluoride gels

  • Mouthguards to protect teeth against teeth grinding

In some cases, root canal treatment is recommended to reduce the pain caused due to infected dental pulp. Some advanced fluoride treatments are also considered in some serious cases.

Symptoms of tooth sensitivity can disappear only if a dentist addresses the root cause behind it. Fixing an appointment with a dentist and a thorough check-up will help in diagnosing potential problems like loose fillings, cavities, plaques, recessed gums, and other problems if any. During the dental examination, the dentist may do a visual exam or may use some dental instruments to check for tooth sensitivity and find the affected tooth. In some cases, patients may need to take an x-ray to check out for causes like cavities.

How to prevent tooth sensitivity?

girl holding ice cream with sensitive teeth

Maintaining proper oral hygiene can most certainly help prevent not just tooth sensitivity, but also other oral and dental issues. Following are some of the pointers to watch out for that can definitely help one prevent tooth sensitivity:

  • Consider replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. A worn-out toothbrush does not clean one’s teeth properly and it may end up irritating the gums.

  • Picking your teeth or oral piercing irritates the gums. Avoid it.

  • Chewing tobacco and constant exposure to acidic foods and beverages leads to receding gums. Avoid them as much as you can.

  • Brush the teeth twice daily using a soft-bristled brush. Use a fluoride-based toothpaste. Clean between the teeth using floss. This helps in removing plaques and food particles.

  • Plan a visit to your dentist at regular intervals for professional cleaning or scaling, and oral care. It is recommended to get your dental checkups done by your dentist, once every six months, to keep a watch on oral health issues and prevent the same.

One does not have to bear the pain associated with sensitive teeth. Visit a dentist today and talk about various options available to treat tooth sensitivity. Also, do follow your dentist’s advice to prevent tooth sensitivity. Dr. Suwarna Upare recommends consulting your dentist on a regular basis to keep an eye on one's oral health.

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