How to Deal with Tooth Sensitivity after Dental Treatments
Tooth sensitivity is sharp, sudden pain when the teeth come in contact with hot or cold sensations, or when chewing food. It happens because the enamel, the protective layer of the tooth, is worn out, and the dentin beneath is exposed with all of its tubules to the outer sensations and exterior stimuli. Apart from the enamel being worn out, the dentin can be exposed due to cavities, cracked teeth, gum recession, and root erosion – all of which are important factors that impact the appearance of tooth sensitivity.
However, tooth sensitivity can also appear after dental treatments such as filling, whitening, and other more complex procedures done on the teeth. Luckily, when tooth sensitivity appears after these dental procedures, it can be quickly taken care of at home with the help of some home remedies and over-the-counter products. What follows is a list of everything one can do to lessen the pain and eventually get rid of tooth sensitivity at home.
Use Fluoride Toothpaste and Brush Gently
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral, especially in water, which helps to remineralize the enamel. By doing so, the protective layer of the tooth is strengthened and desensitized. Therefore, an enamelon fluoride toothpaste is a must or a fluoride gel that can be directly applied to the teeth. In combination, a soft-bristled brush is necessary, which should be used gently, with slow, non-aggressive up-and-down movements along the length of the teeth. Don’t brush the teeth in a saw-like motion as this could lead to irritation of the gums and possible bleeding.
Don’t Grind the Teeth at Night
There are many teeth grinders out there. They don’t even realize that they are clenching their teeth during their sleep, and this is deadly to the enamel – it becomes worn down, and the dentin comes on top collecting all the stimuli and causing pain. To avoid such grinding, a mouthguard can protect the teeth and stop the contact between the teeth.
Beware of the Food You Consume
As sweetened and acidic foods and drinks are popular causers of tooth sensitivity, avoid consuming them after having a dental procedure. Your teeth will be already sensitive, so eating foods and drinking beverages such as grains, sugar, milk, fish, fresh meats, sodas, high-protein food, and supplements won’t help the case. Instead, they will worsen the sensitivity problem.
Another home remedy as old as humanity and mainly practiced by ancient people when there weren’t any chemists. It involves swishing coconut oil in the mouth for a couple of minutes and spitting it out. It is believed that in this way, the oil clears out and washes away the bacteria in the mouth and maintains the teeth in a healthy condition.
What to Do After Dental Procedures?
After a Filling
When cavities are filled, tooth sensitivity is a common condition. The tooth decay irritates the tooth, and after the procedure, this irritation can transfer to the dentin. To help ease the discomfort, use fluoride toothpaste, and brush the teeth gently. You can also use mouth rinses with fluoride or fluoride gels. After several days the pain will disappear completely. However, if the discomfort sticks or the level of pain is increased, then the best thing to do is to set an appointment with the dentist as soon as possible.
After Whitening Treatments
The whitening treatments, done at home or the dentist’s office, contain some harsh ingredients whose primary goal is to remove stains from the enamel, sometimes remove the enamel as well, thus being the cause of tooth sensitivity. Some research has shown that after the whitening treatment, the teeth should be irradiated with a low-level red laser. This decreased the pain to a substantial amount. Also, the Journal of the American Dental Association stated that using a desensitizing gel before the treatment helps reduce tooth sensitivity after the treatment.
Surgical Gum Graft
This is a treatment that is done by the dentist which includes protecting the root when some gum tissue has been lost from the root. This treatment largely reduces tooth sensitivity.
Another treatment that helps with severe and constant pain is the root canal. This is also done at the dentist’s office and involves cleaning out the whole root canal.
The Bottom Line
Tooth sensitivity can be taken care of fast and easy. The pain can be relieved with fluoride products, but only if it is a mild feeling and caused by a dental procedure. Otherwise, if it is an intense and sharp pain, don’t hesitate to call the dentist as it might be a more severe problem. Also, when you decide to buy over-the-counter products, make sure you are previously advised by the dentist on the way and time to use them. Never take anything on your own in order to avoid the unwanted consequence