First up, any sensitive teeth treatment advice will include general things you can do at home to prevent the problem from arising. Depending on what causes your sensitivity, there may also be specific dental treatment needed to treat the problem.
Firstly, advice on what you can do at home to try to help.
Prevent Sensitive Teeth: Home Treatment
Below is general advice in terms of preventing sensitive teeth. There is also specific advice depending on the cause of the sensitivity.
- Brush twice every day using fluoride toothpaste. Desensitizing toothpastes may be very useful. Avoid ‘whitening’ toothpastes
- Clean between the teeth using floss or an inter-dental brush
- A fluoride-containing mouthwash may help strengthen the enamel
- Use a gentle, circular motion as opposed to a hard scrubbing action to clean properly
- Use a soft or medium-bristled toothbrush and change it every three months
- Keep sugary and acidic foods to a minimum. Avoid snacking between meals
- Teeth whitening should be undertaken with caution and not done too regularly
- Attend the dentist regularly for check-ups.
- A mouth-guard may be necessary if you grind your teeth (bruxism) on a regular basis. Your dentist can offer advice on such matters.
- If you have dental erosion, see here for advice on prevention.
- If you are going to have your teeth whitened, use a desensitizing toothpaste for two weeks beforehand. This will help reduce symptoms during and after the whitening.
- If you have decay or a broken tooth, get this treated as soon as possible.
Treatments Your Dentist Might Use
The first thing to do if you have tooth sensitivity is attend your dentist. S/he will talk to you and examine your mouth to help determine the cause of the sensitivity (if there is one). You will then be given specific advice to help prevent further hypersensitivity. You will also find out if you need any treatment.
If the pain is due to recent dental treatment, your dentist can advise you on whether this is expected to clear up over time. Alternatively you may need further work such as root canal, if a deep filling has been placed and does not settle.
Treatment at the dentist may include:
- Special desensitizing coatings (like ‘Gluma‘) can be bonded to the teeth on the affected areas. These can help reduce symptoms by sealing over the dentine.
- Fluoride varnish and gels can be applied in a similar way to the above. If applied regularly these can help strengthen the dentition and make them less symptomatic.
- Some new laser technology has been developed to reduce sensitivity of dentine.
- These treatments may need to be repeated every few weeks as symptoms can take time to settle.
- You may need work done to target specific causes, eg receding gums treatment.
- If symptoms persist, a filling may need to be applied, to cover over the sensitive areas. In rare, extreme cases an otherwise fine tooth may need a root canal if it remains very sensitive.
Sensitive teeth home remedies:
- Use a sensitive teeth toothpaste, like Sensodyne. There are new products coming onto the market all the time. Experiment to see which one is the best toothpaste for your symptoms
- Fluoride rinses, used regularly can help strengthen the enamel and dentin
- Tooth mousse has somne excellent reviews from sufferers of sensitivity
- Some over-the-counter products are available, like the Orajel Advanced Tooth Desensitizer, aimed at providing a longer term cure. But these have mixed reviews
- Follow the above guidelines for prevention as well as any advice your dentist gives.
Having sensitivity is a common problem with many various causes. It can be helped, both by things you can do and avoid at home, and also by attending your dentist. It should not be ignored as it may indicate underlying damage. Always seek help from your dentist for treatment for sensitive teeth.