If ice cream, cold drinks or a sip of hot coffee causes sensitive teeth, you may want to see your dentist. Many people have sensitive teeth but there are some simple treatments that can be used to resolve this annoying problem.
Possible causes of sensitive teeth
Some of the most common causes of sensitive teeth are:
- cavities (tooth decay)
- fractured or cracked teeth
- worn old fillings
- gum disease or recession
- worn teeth (from grinding or acid erosion)
Treatments you can try yourself for sensitive teeth
Home treatments for sensitive teeth can include:
- desensitizing toothpaste – this type of toothpaste contains compounds that block transmission of sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve, but they do require several applications before you notice a difference (usually around 2 weeks of use)
- fluoride gel – placing a fluoride gel on the sensitive area can sometimes reduce the sensation
- holistic therapy – like oil pulling, cloves and clove oil, guava leaves, garlic, salt water rinses
When it’s time to see your dentist
If your teeth don’t settle down, make sure to see your dentist. We often see people try home remedies on teeth that are infected, and that can make things worse, because the longer you leave an infection in your bone, the harder it becomes to treat, not to mention much more expensive. If you have a cavity, for example, it can simply be filled. But if the cavity progresses to a root canal because you waited too long to have it treated, then you end up not only having to have the root canal treatment done, but very often, you will end up needing a crown. So seeking dental help early could save you thousands of dollars, as well as more extensive dental treatments.