Fluoride Treatments and Tooth Sensitivity
Living with sensitive teeth can be incredibly uncomfortable. With tooth sensitivity, simple activities like enjoying a morning cup of coffee or enjoying ice-cream can cause serious discomfort. Many American adults struggle with tooth sensitivity. If you can relate to these experiences, you should have a conversation with your dentist about possible treatment options, including the possibility of a fluoride treatment. Here are more details about how fluoride treatment can help reduce tooth sensitivity.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity can be caused by many factors. If you experience mild sensitivity to heat, cold, or air pressure from time to time, you should not be alarmed. However, if you experience serious sensitivity, you should have a discussion with your dentist. It is possible that there may be a more serious underlying issue causing your discomfort. Serious tooth sensitivity may be caused by tooth decay, gum disease, or an oral health issue. Factors that cause mild tooth sensitivity include:
- Diet: Diets high in acidic foods and beverages can wear away the protective outer layer of the tooth, or the enamel, causing the tooth to be more exposed and sensitive.
- Brushing aggressively: Brushing the teeth too aggressively can cause damage to the enamel or potentially cause gum recession. Both damage to the enamel and gum recession may result in more sensitivity.
- Tooth decay: Not maintaining good oral hygiene can result in tooth decay and the breakdown of the teeth which may increase sensitivity.
- Genetics: Tooth sensitivity can run in the family. If you experience mild sensitivity, you should ask your family members if they do too.
Fluoride Treatments for Tooth Sensitivity
Fluoride treatments are a popular, safe, and natural dental treatment used to improve oral health. The primary purpose of a fluoride treatment is to keep the teeth strong and prevent tooth decay. When fluoride is applied directly to the teeth it reinforces minerals in the enamel of the teeth. You may not have realized it, but you probably already receive a moderate amount of fluoride in your day to day. Tap water in most large communities in the United States has fluoride added as does normal toothpaste and mouthwash. For individuals with sensitive teeth, additional professional fluoride treatments may be able to help reduce sensitivity. Getting a fluoride treatment after a dental exam may go a long way to help strengthen enamel and minimize tooth sensitivity. Another option is to switch out your everyday toothpaste with a toothpaste with added fluoride.
Preventing Tooth Sensitivity
Besides fluoride treatment, there are other changes you can make to your daily routine to further prevent sensitive teeth. Here are a few ideas of changes you can make:
- Grab an anti-sensitivity toothpaste
- Try brushing more gently and switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Reduce high acidity foods and beverage from your diet, including sodas, coffee, and citrus fruits
Lastly, if your sensitivity is bothering you on a regular basis, have a conversation with your dentist about your teeth. A quick fluoride treatment can make a big difference in improving your daily life.