If biting into an ice cream cone or drinking from a cup of hot coffee creates a painful experience, you may have sensitive teeth. Let’s take a closer look at this condition.
Teeth sensitivity is one of the main issues that dental patients report. Enjoying anything that is hot or cold can lead to extreme discomfort for some patients, while others have no issues with temperature but find smiling in the wind unbearable. Whatever the trigger, too many sufferers put off their hygiene appointments due to the fear of uncomfortable teeth cleanings.
In healthy teeth, a layer of enamel protects the crowns of your teeth—the part above the gum line. Under the gum line a layer called cementum protects the tooth root. Underneath both the enamel and the cementum is dentin.
Dentin is less dense than enamel and cementum and contains microscopic tubules (small hollow tubes or canals). When dentin loses its protective covering of enamel or cementum these tubules allow heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods to reach the nerves and cells inside the tooth. Dentin may also be exposed when gums recede. The result can be hypersensitivity.
Communicate With Your Dental Team
If you are experiencing any sensitivity issues, the best thing you can do is let your dentist and hygienist know. Take note of where and when your sensitivity issues occur so you can describe the circumstances during your next dental visit. Your dental team can use the clues you provide to start the search for the cause, determine why it is happening and set the best course of treatment. Helping your teeth look and feel their very best is what Dr. Robert Harrell and his talented team at Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne do every day.
Causes of Sensitive Teeth
Sensitive teeth can be caused by the following dental issues:
Preliminary Dental Treatment
Having a conversation with your dentist is the first step in finding relief from your discomfort. Describe your symptoms, tell your dentist when the pain started and let him or her know if there’s anything that normally makes it feel better, such as warm compresses.
After your dentist determines the reason for your sensitivity, he or she will treat the underlying cause. Treatment may be as simple as fixing a cavity or replacing a worn filling. However, if your discomfort comes from gum loss exposing root surfaces, your dentist may suggest a gum graft that a periodontist would conduct to protect the root surface and support of the tooth. More details at Colgate
Unknown Night Grinders
Tooth grinding is another major cause of sensitivity. Many patients are shocked to find out that they grind their teeth because they only do it while sleeping. The tell-tale smooth grooves and flat, worn crowns typically lead to this surprising discovery during a regular dental check-up. If you are experiencing sudden sensitivity, sleep apnea, headaches or a sore jaw upon waking, it might be time to make a near-date dental appointment, even if your regular cleaning is just a few months away. The grinding at night can lead to exposed root surfaces that cause sensitive teeth. Wearing a custom mouth guard to sleep can help you protect your teeth.
This scorching time of year can be a real nightmare for your smile. While it is tempting to enjoy ice cream, popsicles and slushies all day long to combat the heat, it’s bad for your dental health to be under a constant barrage of sugary items. Thankfully, there are plenty of healthy and refreshing alternatives to consider, including the ideal summer fruit:
Summer BBQs are never complete without giant slabs of juicy watermelon. Not only is it a tasty and refreshing treat on hot days, watermelon is also beneficial for your teeth. Being mostly water, this fruit stimulates saliva flow, which is very effective in maintaining a healthy, bright smile. Watermelon, like strawberries, is also packed with antioxidants and tons of Vitamin C which are great when going through any kind of recovery. Snacking on watermelon will also fill you up with Vitamin A, which is great for your skin and a fantastic complement to your beautiful smile!
If you just can’t beat the craving for a cool, creamy treat this summer, save your teeth and your budget by creating your own delicious frozen yogurt smoothies. Check out the following post for tips:
Ok, yogurt is available all year long. Packed with probiotics, calcium and protein, stick with no added sugar flavors for the healthiest choice. Healthy doesn’t mean boring, try mixing in those fresh strawberries for the perfect sweet and creamy snack. Beat the heat by turning them into frozen yogurt pops. Kids and adults will love this healthy swap!
Resist the Temptation and Save Your Smile
There’s a reason that hotels and spas offer naturally flavored waters to their customers. They’re cool, refreshing and good for you. You can make some at home to replace sugary drinks and help keep your teeth and body healthy. Experiment with cucumber water, lemon or lime juice, strawberries, melons, pineapple and even berries to create a delicious way to replenish and rejuvenate. Your smile will definitely thank you.
Say no to sugary drinks and snacks
As the temperature rises, it’s common for families to sip and snack during sports tournaments, festivals or nearly any community event. “Watch your family’s intake of lemonade, juice and soda,” says Dr. Hayes. “Consider sugary drinks treats to enjoy once in a while, and not often.” Instead, offer water (even better if it has fluoride) to beat the heat, or milk to drink with meals. And, don’t let summertime grazing damage your child’s smile. “Taking a break from snacking is healthy for your teeth,” says Dr. Hayes. “It allows time for saliva to bathe the teeth, wash away leftover food and get stronger.”
Following a daily protocol of healthy oral hygiene habits can help your smile remain its very best between appointments.
Maintain Adequate Nutrition
The snacks and meals we choose to indulge in directly impact our oral health. Include extra calcium in your diet to ensure you are meeting the daily requirements for your age. Yogurt, almond milk, cheese, cream cheese and dairy milk are excellent sources.
You need plenty of calcium for your teeth. It is essential for the teeth as well as your bones. It is better to drink milk, fortified orange juice and to eat yogurt, broccoli, cheese, and other dairy products. You can also take a calcium supplement, taking different doses according to your age and necessity as per prescription. Calcium and Vitamin D are necessary for maintaining the health of gums and teeth. Vitamin B complex is also essential for the protection of gums and teeth from cracking and bleeding. Copper, zinc, iodine, iron and potassium are also required for maintaining healthy dental hygiene.
Update Your Gear
Dentists recommend changing your toothbrush once every three months on average. If you suffer from cold sores, a cough or a cold, you can switch it out even sooner. Try out different fluoride toothpastes until you find your family’s favorite flavor, and use a high quality mouth rinse to address any post-brushing germs and plaque.
Correct Angle Brushing
Utilizing your toothbrush on the correct angle is directly related to how effective your brushing is. Use gentle motions to sweep plaque away from the sulcus (the space between a tooth and the surrounding tissue) and keep the gum-line free and clear.
When brushing your teeth, position the bristles at an angle of 45 degrees near the gum line. Both the gum line and the tooth surface should be in contact with the bristles. Brush the outer surfaces of the teeth using a back-and-forth, up-and-down motion, making sure to be done gently in order to avoid bleeding. To clean the inside surfaces of the teeth and gums, place the bristles at a 45-degree angle again and repeat the back-and-forth, up-and-down motion. Lastly, brush the surfaces of your tongue and the roof of your mouth to remove bacteria, which might cause bad breath.
Don’t Forget to Brush Your Tongue
Brush your tongue. The best way to combat bad breath is to clean the tongue every week with a Tongue Scrape. The majority of bad breath is caused by substances called “Volatile Sulphurous Compounds” and these are very commonly found on the surface of the tongue. A Tongue Scrape removes the build up of white matter from the tongue and shifts the smelly bits with it.
Brush Up on Your Flossing Technique
Waxed dental floss and flossing picks definitely help break up the plaque on your teeth, but they aren’t your best option. The sleek profile of this type of floss typically doesn’t allow for the sticky plaque to attach itself easily. The results obtained with expanding dental floss are superior, as explained below.
Expanding floss is a dental hygiene product meant to clean between the teeth. It grows thicker when it comes in contact with moisture, like saliva. The friction caused by running the floss between teeth can also cause this type of floss to expand. This expansion may help to produce better results and more effective flossing, because expanding floss is thought to clean more surfaces and wider spaces more thoroughly than other types of floss.
Maintain Your Regular Visits With Us
One of the best tips for maintaining a healthy, brilliant smile is keeping regular oral hygiene appointments for check-ups and cleanings. Dr Jolene Dague is your smile headquarters for dentist in the Davenport area of Iowa. Visit the website or use the contact form on this page to make an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you.
Dr Jolene Dague applauds healthy snack choices. Popcorn made without butter and hydrogenated oil and only lightly salted definitely falls into this category. It’s by far the better choice compared to sugary, fatty snacks like candy bars and snack cakes. The concern with popcorn comes from its potential to damage your smile. Popcorn kernels, husks and un-popped seeds can wreak havoc on your smile. We’re not advising you to avoid popcorn, we just want you to be aware of the potential issues. Let’s take a closer look below:
Your favorite cinema snack is a double-pronged danger: Much like potato chips, popcorn can wedge between teeth and foster bacterial growth. Un-popped kernels are even worse. “When it gets to the bottom of the bag, people don’t realize that biting on kernels can break your teeth,” Dr. Dorfman says. Read more at Prevention
Flossing Is Extra Important On Movie Night
The amount of dental problems that can originate from a single bite of popcorn is astounding. From cracked, broken or chipped teeth to inflamed gums and abscesses, there are plenty of ways that things to go awry. For instance, we’ve all felt that annoying piece of popcorn stuck below our gum line. The fragile space along the bottom of the tooth, known as the sulcus, can easily become inflamed and sore if a popcorn husk becomes lodged. If this occurs and flossing and swishing isn’t cutting it, tie a knot in your dental floss and try again. Sometimes, the extra floss width can catch the elusive piece and allow you to remove it. Read more about the potential for kernal chaos:
The number of broken and chipped teeth has doubled since health conscious people started giving up “fatty” crisps as a snack in favour of so-called gourmet popcorn, dentists said.
Uncooked kernels are to blame for the problem, with cinema-goers often unsuspectingly biting down on one of the hard husks while engrossed in a film.
Small pieces of the food can also often get lodged between teeth and if not treated quickly cause gum disease and even abscesses.
Don’t Ignore Gum Inflammation or Tooth Pain
Something to keep in mind about popcorn problems is that they can occur days, weeks or even longer after you’ve had your snack. Sometimes, mysterious inflammation and/or pain is the result of missing just the tiniest component. A husk can burrow down into our gums or become stuck in a tight space between teeth and there’s trouble down the road. We save numerous patients from undetected problems during their regular dental cleanings and checkups. Other times, they know that some form of damage has occurred — usually due to biting down on an un-popped kernel — and they wisely see us right away for treatment.
Read the following and learn how a tiny portion of trapped popcorn can lead to losing an entire tooth:
Popcorn is one of the worst dental offenders. “Its not just the kernels that are bad for your teeth, but also the thin shell that surrounds the kernel,” says Chevy Chase, MD cosmetic dentist Claudia C. Cotca, DDS. “Oftentimes, it slides off and gets lodged between the gums and teeth, easily going unnoticed.” If it isn’t removed in time, it can cause bone loss and possibly the loss of the tooth, too. “If left undisturbed, decay can cause cavities, abscess and tooth loss, and can also shift your bite and change your smile,” adds New York cosmetic dentist Irwin Smigel, DDS.
Be Proactive To Avoid Escalating Problems
Don’t discount any oral pains or issues you may experience. The key to easily handling most dental problems is addressing them ASAP. Ignoring issues with your teeth and gums is bad for your health, your wallet and the quality of your smile. Call Dague Dental Solutions today at (563) 386-9770 or use the contact form on the website to schedule an appointment with Dr. Dague.
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