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A few of us feel a sharp pain in our teeth when we eat hot or cold food or drink. There are two main causes of this pain. If the pain is in an individual tooth we probably have a cavity. If we feel the pain in several teeth then the enamel on the teeth has become thin. In both cases the nerve inside the tooth is being directly exposed to the hot or cold food, and this causes the pain. An infected tooth will also feel this type of pain.
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If we have a sensitive tooth due to a cavity then we need to have the cavity treated. The cavity is literally a hole in the tooth, leaving the nerve in the tooth exposed. This problem will only grow worse over time. The only solution is to have the tooth treated and filled by the dentist.
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If the enamel on our teeth has become thin over time then the teeth will become sensitive. The thin enamel cannot insulate the nerve in the teeth from the rest of the mouth, so it will react strongly to any hot and cold temperatures. This is painful.
Thin enamel, and hence sensitive teeth, can be caused by:
– Drinking acidic liquids, like soft drink, fruit juice, or lemon water. These will quickly thin out enamel.
– Brushing with abrasive substances like charcoal toothpaste, some whitening toothpastes, or bicarbonate of soda.
– Brushing too soon after eating/drinking. We should wait 30 minutes after eating before brushing. If we brush too soon, when the enamel is temporarily softened, then we wear away the tooth enamel.
– Brushing too hard, or with a hard bristle brush. This steadily wear away enamel. Use a soft bristle brush and gentle pressure.
Treating Sensitive Teeth -Dental Clinic Greenfield Park
Thin enamel cannot be reversed. The damage is permanent. But the pain can be greatly reduced by the use of special sensitive toothpaste.
The special sensitive toothpaste will reduce the pain felt by the teeth, but it must be used for several weeks before it is effective. Use the sensitive toothpaste twice per day, and leave it on the teeth after brushing- do not rinse. Over time this will reduce the pain, and you can eat/drink hot and cold foods again.
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Some individuals like to have their teeth whitened as they believe this improves their appearance. Unfortunately, this whitening procedure is not appropriate for people with sensitive teeth or thin enamel, as the procedure can make the teeth more sensitive.
Dentists will advise on the suitability of teeth whitening for individuals clients.
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Sensitive teeth can be a serious problem. Diligent cleaning, done correctly, will prevent most dental problems.
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