Not an hour goes by while watching, reading, or listening to the media that there is an advertisement for a therapy to reduce dental pain. In fact, dental pain is the most common cause for work loss and school absence as reported by the Centers for Disease Control. Sensitive teeth may be caused by decay and periodontal disease but most commonly from trauma, wear, or erosion. With the fact that dental decay is the most common disease known to man and many have lived under the influence of fluorides in water or vitamins, many of us are subject to sensitive teeth because we wear and stress our teeth.

Trauma may occur when eating, speaking, or swallowing. A tooth strikes an object or another tooth and it becomes sensitive to temperature changes and to touch. This is relieved by a regular dosage of anti-inflammatory medication over a period of three days. Sometimes, the tooth must be adjusted or shaped to the bite, a process of equilibration. This is performed by the dentist if the patient is subject to bite changes, influenced by poor gum health. Basically, improper or lack of flossing causes the teeth to shift.

Wear of the dentition causes sensitivity over time as the enamel of a tooth is reduced by the influence of grinding habits, diet selection, and achieving a senior age. Grinding and clenching can be stopped by habit change with a dental hard guard. Over the counter guards are soft and will not stop the habit but will reduce some of the symptoms.

The diet is easily effected by eating softer, better prepared foods. Hard and crunchy foods offer variety to the diet but are not regular elements for the individual that wishes to enjoy their teeth for their lifetime. As time goes by, seniors should enjoy a softer diet, with a variety and an ease to consume and digest. Whole foods with less processing offer you the best nutritional advantages.

Erosion to the teeth is a category of factors including aggressive, hard brushing, acidic foods and trauma as described above. You should only apply a soft brush to your teeth for cleaning plaque and debris. Abrasive, “stain” removing tooth pastes should also be avoided. A professional cleaning will allow you to effectively clean your teeth daily. It was described that grinding can sensitize the teeth, likewise clenching causes teeth to break at the gum line. People notice sensitive notches at the junction of the teeth to their root surface, called abfraction. Compounded by aggressive, hard brushing, the abfractions become sensitive.

By proper preventive methods and application of fluorides, sensitivity is eliminated if habits are controlled and dietary selections are wisely applied. Abfractions can be bonded to protect tooth fracture and a hard guard may be constructed to reduce clenching and grinding. Worn teeth are restored with modern porcelains.