Summer is here and time to enjoy all the yummy cold things! Except if you have sensitive teeth! But we are here with some recommendations to help!
What causes sensitive teeth?
There are a few common causes of sensitive teeth. These can be wear on the chewing surface of teeth, gum recession, bruxism (clenching and grinding of teeth), cavities or periodontal disease. If you have sensitive teeth they can be sensitive to temperature or even sweet foods.
Do I need to see the dentist about my sensitive teeth?
We do recommend having a dental checkup if you have not recently to rule out tooth decay or periodontal (gum) issues. Also, we can customize what at home products you can use to help sensitivity.
What at home products help with sensitivity?
There are many OTC products that can help with sensitivity. We usually recommend a sensitive toothpaste coupled with nightly fluoride rinse to combat sensitivity. Usually sensitive toothpastes have one of two ingredients to help with sensitivity- potassium nitrate or stannous fluoride. Both of these ingredients help combat sensitivity but they work in different ways. We have found with personal experience and with our patients that toothpastes with potassium nitrate work well. Sensodyne and Colgate sensitive toothpastes usually have this ingredient (check the back of the box!) Fluoride rinses also help with sensitivity- ACT rinse, Listerine Total Care (it is purple in color) or Therabreath (in the pink bottle).
What if OTC products don’t help?
If you have tried OTC products and they don’t help, there are a few other options we can try. We can prescribe you a Rx fluoride toothpaste that you use daily. Also, an in office fluoride treatment is a great, easy option. We can apply the fluoride varnish for you at cleaning appointments! The varnish alleviates sensitivity for a few weeks to months at a time.
If you have any questions please feel free to give our office a call!