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September 15, 2010

YEEEOWCH! Do You Suffer from Tooth Sensitivity?

Do you say no to sundaes? Do you wait for your soup to stop steaming? Is sugar painfully sweet? If your teeth ache with temperature fluctuations or sour and sweet tastes, you probably have sensitive teeth. The consequences of this touchy condition can range from a dull ache to sharp, shooting pains.

Teeth grinding, gum recession, gum disease, tooth decay at the gum line, cracks, chips, and plaque buildup can make teeth sensitive. Years of brushing too hard, consuming high-acid foods and drinks, “thin tooth enamel,” or using certain mouthwashes or toothpastes can also contribute to your sensitivity. If your sensitivity is a result of recent dental work, it may go away as quickly as it developed.

Is there hope that you’ll ever enjoy a brisk winter walk or a glass of refreshing iced tea without wincing when the cold hits your teeth?

YES!

As with most dental conditions, the first line of defense is good oral hygiene. Brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. Make your appointments with Dr. Pate for checkups and cleanings every six months (or as often as recommended). Switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush, using desensitizing toothpaste, and reducing the amount of acidic foods and drinks you ingest (colas, citrus, sports drinks, coffee, wine, etc.) are great first steps you can take at home.

If you clench and grind your teeth, stop. Just kidding!  Grinding is sometimes completely subconscious and you can’t help yourself!  Try these steps during the day to be sure that your teeth are not clenched together:  pay attention to your teeth while driving, or while concentrating on your computer, or while you are on the phone.  Use your tongue to keep your teeth separated if necessary.  We can help you with your nighttime grinding.  Ask Dr. Pate for a night guard, wear it diligently, and your teeth grinding will be controlled…and your sensitivity may end! You can also consult with Dr. Pate about bonding and fluoride varnish to reduce tooth pain.

Call Dentistry in Buckhead today, and Dr. Pate will help you determine the right treatment to reduce your tooth sensitivity.

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