Healthy Ways to Reduce Tooth Sensitivity After a Dental Visit
Teeth sensitivity occurs when healthy teeth come into contact with hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and beverages. The pain can be sharp and sudden, traveling quickly through the tooth to the nerve endings, which send pain signals to the brain. Tooth sensitivity may develop over time and with age as the gum recedes, but it may also be caused by dental procedures such as teeth cleaning, root planing, crown placement, and tooth restoration.
Maintaining healthy teeth can reduce teeth sensitivity. The following may help:
- Choose the right toothbrush. A soft-bristled toothbrush with rounded tips will offer superior comfort and protection of tooth enamel and reduce pain. For best results, remember to brush your teeth and gums for at least 2 minutes using gentle, circular strokes.
- Use oral desensitizing products. There are several brands of toothpastes and mouthwashes on the market, such as Sensodyne and Colgate, which contain potassium nitrate and strontium chloride, which over time can reduce teeth sensitivity. These substances create a barrier between the outer tooth and nerve endings so that foods you consume don’t trigger pain signals to the brain.
- Reduce consumption of highly acidic foods. Frequent consumption of highly acidic foods and beverages, such as fruit juices, yogurt, and carbonated drinks, may gradually dissolve tooth enamel and lead to dentin exposure. Consume these foods in moderation or reserve them for an occasional treat.
- Drink fluoridated water. Daily use of fluoridated products strengthens tooth enamel, which is the best natural barrier against foods that may cause tooth pain. Your best source for fluoridated water is straight from your kitchen’s tap. However, if you cannot stand the taste of your locally treated water, there are at least 20 companies that sell bottled fluoridated water in national chains.