Tooth Sensitivity: ‘Tis the Season!
As the holiday season approaches and a sweet sense of nostalgia hangs high in the air, fond memories and familiar sights, sounds, and of course, tastes are likely to come to mind! For many people, it’s the latter aspect of these that evokes the most memories. As great food is often a favorite part of the holiday season as few things can spread joy of the holidays like great food!
Unfortunately, there are some things that can undoubtedly hinder your holiday festivities, and tooth sensitivity is certainly one of them! Teeth that are easily irritated or overly sensitive to foods or beverages can be a very frustrating problem indeed, and while it may seem as little more than a minor nuisance at first, if this issue continues to persist for an extended period, it may began affect one’s life in a most unpleasant way!
Tooth Sensitivity: That’s gotta hurt!
While it often varies from person to person, it usually starts with a slight tingle when consuming certain foods or drinks, and gradually progresses to a sharp biting pain over time. While that might not sound so bad at first, those suffering from tooth sensitivity often find themselves going to great lengths to avoid the foods that trigger this sensation and are likely to give up things that they once enjoyed.
Things likely to trigger sensitive teeth may include foods that are extremely sweet or sour, as well foods or drinks that are particularly cold or hot as changes in temperature are often the most frequent source of pain according to sufferers. The reason for this pain generally stems from the tooth’s outer layer enamel becoming increasingly depleted and worn, thus leading the nerves and roots of the tooth to become (at least partly) exposed to the elements. The source of the pain might be easy to determine.
Unfortunately, the cause may not be as easy to determine; as there are multiple potential causes for the loss of your tooth’s enamel.
Tooth Sensitivity: The Causes
Highly Acidic Foods:
Foods or beverages with a high pH level, (or highly acidic contents) will always be a danger to your tooth’s enamel if consumed too frequently. While this obviously includes sports drinks, soft drinks, and sour candy. Certain fruits such as lemons, kiwi, oranges, or grapefruit are all very acidic and should be consumed in moderation also.
Brushing Too Hard:
While it’s important to really brush your teeth effectively, sometimes it can be easy to overdo it. Brushing with a little too much gusto or pressing too hard can sometimes actually put excess wear and tear on your tooth’s outer layers. While certainly a lighter touch may be key in alleviating this issue, a new toothbrush with softer bristles would be a good idea too. Such extra soft brushes can be found at most local convince stores or in our offices as well!
Much like over brushing, the over application of mouthwash can in fact be more harmful for your teeth than expected, due to alcohol and other chemicals within the solution. To avoid this, try brushing and flossing more thoroughly, or perhaps consider using a natural fluoride rinse instead.
Gum disease or periodontal disease is a slow progressing, but potentially serious condition that if left untreated could trigger many additional issues including sensitive teeth. Such telltale signs of gum disease may include; receding gums, bleeding gums, or noticeable discoloration of both gums and teeth. However, if you are unsure, scheduling a dental checkup is probably a good idea.
Recent Dental Treatment:
If you have had any recent dental procedures such as extractions or crowns (or others), it’s common to experience a degree of sensitivity for a small period of time. However, if the tenderness does not subside, a follow up appointment might be in order as this may indicate an infection.
If your tooth has any sustained any cracks or chips or has simply developed a certain amount of decay over time, your teeth are likely to become susceptible to pain or discomfort. This discomfort will only increase if left untreated. If you believe this to be the case, then assessing the damage now is your best option, as it will only get worse if you don’t!
Related Article: Sugar Hurts Teeth: Do You Sip and Snack All Day?
Overland Park Dentistry: We Can Help!
In what’s sometimes referred to as “The most wonderful time of the year” the holiday season can be a great time to enjoy some of your favorite foods with those you love. However, if increased tooth sensitivity gets in your way, you may find yourself feeling pain instead of the holiday spirit! At Overland Park Dentistry we have all the knowledge and resources necessary to assess this issue and get you back to celebrating the holidays with lots of cheer!
Don’t wait, make your appointment today!
Related Article: Your Overland Park Dentist: Charles R. Kimes, DDS
Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventative, restorative or cosmetic dentistry options for you or your family may have. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at 913-341-2380.