Tooth Sensitivity | How to Handle

Dental Health
By: Spirit Dental
March 5, 2019

Young girl biting into a burrito

Tooth sensitivity is a literal pain. And even though it is temporary, arising suddenly before subsiding after a few moments, no one wants to deal with the discomfort that comes with sensitive teeth, especially while enjoying tasty foods and drinks. Thankfully, there are some things that you can do to handle sensitivity in your pearly whites, so a few easy strategies and treatments are listed below to help you get relief.  

First, See Your Dentist for a Checkup

There are several conditions that can cause tooth sensitivity, so it doesn’t always indicate that there’s a cavity to blame. Phew! Getting to the source of the problem is the best way to tackle it, so it’s a smart move to make an appointment with your dentist first.

After a thorough examination, your dentist can help you figure out what’s causing your sensitivity, and that will give you greater insight into what you can actually do to resolve it. So, rather than choosing any old remedy for sensitive teeth, ask a pro for guidance. Doing so can help boost the odds that the treatment you use will be successful.

Now let’s dive into a list of potential remedies for sensitive chompers, shall we?

Tweak Your Brushing Strategy

One of the first things that you can try to relieve sensitivity is switch out your toothpaste and toothbrush for products that are designed to be gentler on teeth and gums. Improving your brushing technique might also be necessary.

  • To avoid damaging the protective enamel on your teeth, avoid brushing aggressively or with too much pressure. All you have to do to remove debris and plaque is use gentle, circular motions. Avoid using side-to-side motions, particularly at the gum line.
  • Switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush, which will also be gentler on enamel. And, once your toothbrush starts to look worn (usually around every three months), it’s time to replace it.
  • Try using non-abrasive toothpaste. You might even opt for toothpaste that’s made for sensitive teeth and may help reduce the amount of discomfort your chompers feel. These products are available over-the-counter, but your dentist can help you choose the one that’s best for your needs. Just keep in mind that you might have to use this toothpaste a few times before you start to notice a difference, so be patient.
  • It isn’t a good idea to brush your teeth right after eating or drinking, especially if you’ve consumed foods or beverages that may adversely affect enamel (more on that below). It might be best to wait up to an hour before brushing to help protect your pearly whites.

Change Your Diet, Just a Bit

Different foods and drinks can affect your teeth in different ways. For example, highly acidic beverages and foods may contribute to sensitive teeth because the acid could end up wearing the enamel down over time.

  • If your teeth are sensitive, consider reducing your intake of foods that could make the problem worse. A couple of examples are citrus fruits and carbonated beverages. Even sparkling water, which might seem harmless, may contribute to sensitivity.
  • When enjoying a beverage that is acidic, consider drinking it through a straw. This might help reduce your teeth’s exposure to the liquid. Such a simple solution, right?
  • Here’s another great reason to snack on more fruits and veggies: they can help stimulate the production of saliva, which can help combat any acid that your mouth has been exposed to.

Receive Pro Level Treatments at Your Dentist’s Office

When home remedies aren’t enough to help your teeth feel better, don’t lose hope. Your dentist has many different treatment options that may be appropriate for you.

  • If you grind or clench your teeth, they might become sensitive. Really! But you don’t have to live with the pain, as your dentist can help you get a mouth guard to provide protection, especially if you grind your teeth while you sleep and aren’t conscious of what you’re doing.
  • When gum recession, gum disease, or a damaged tooth is to blame for your sensitivity, your dentist can provide appropriate treatments to get your oral health back on track, such as a root canal or gum graft. With the right dental insurance, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to see your dentist right away and receive treatment without breaking the bank.
  • In-office treatment options include the application of sealants that can help protect the surface of sensitive teeth. Your dentist might also recommend a fluoride gel for sensitive areas, or use a bonding resin to protect exposed roots, as a couple of examples.

You Don’t Have to Live with Uncomfortably Sensitive Teeth!

Tooth sensitivity isn’t something that you have to live with. There are a variety of tactics that you can try at home, and when those fail, your dentist is there to give you additional treatment options that can help you get some much-needed relief from the discomfort. The best way to start on your path towards pain-free teeth, though, is by making an appointment to see your dentist so that you can receive a diagnosis that can help direct you towards the most effective remedy. Before long, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite hot and cold foods and drinks without flinching in pain.  


Search for Resources


Senior Dental Health
Eye Health
Children's Dental Health
Dental Health