Sure, winter in Southern California isn’t exactly unbearable, but despite the mild temperatures here, the changing seasons can still affect our teeth, especially if they are sensitive to hot and cold. Couple that with ski vacations and pumpkin spice lattes making their triumphant return to coffee shop menus everywhere, and sensitive teeth don’t stand a chance. This fall and winter, don’t let sensitive teeth stand in the way of enjoying all the season has to offer. Try these ideas for protecting your sensitive teeth.
Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?
If you have sensitive teeth, you may be wondering what causes them to be so sensitive. Sensitivity may seem like a problem with your tooth’s enamel, but believe it or not, sensitivity comes from inside the teeth, not outside.
Just like many things, teeth expand and contract when exposed to heat or cold. This constant shifting causes tiny cracks in the enamel, exposing the dentin of your teeth. When that dentin is exposed, it causes the pain you experience when your sensitive teeth are exposed to hot and cold.
Cracks in the enamel can also occur because of tooth grinding, cavities, gum disease, and even dietary issues such as a diet high in sugar or acidic foods and drinks.
So, now that you know how and why your teeth are sensitive, does that mean you should just give up drinking hot beverages, eating ice cream, going skiing at Tahoe or relaxing on the beach in Maui? Of course not. There are several treatments people with sensitive teeth should consider before giving up on all the simple pleasures in life.
Fluoride: Speak to Dr. Abelar about getting a fluoride treatment on your next visit. Fluoride can help fill in those microscopic cracks in the teeth that let hot and cold reach the dentin.
Mouth Guard: Do you grind your teeth? If so, you could be causing those microscopic cracks without even realizing it! Speak to Dr. Abelar about creating a new, custom mouth guard that will be both functional and comfortable (so you won’t "forget" to wear it).
Sealant: You may remember getting dental sealants when you were a child - or even get them for your own children - but sealants aren’t just for kids. Sealants are especially beneficial for adults with receding gums, which can also cause sensitivity. Speak to Dr. Abelar about getting a sealant treatment at your next appointment.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Abelar, please call 858-256-4903.