Preventing and Treating Exposed Dentin
Dentin is one of the main components of your teeth. It protects the soft, nerve-filled pulp and in turn is protected by an enamel coating. When the dentin is exposed, it can cause sensitivity or pain when it comes into contact with substances that are hot, cold, sugary or acidic. These are the main causes of exposed dentin:
• Teeth grinding. Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding can be caused by stress, a misaligned jaw or certain diseases that affect the muscles. Over time, grinding can wear down the protective enamel of the teeth, thereby exposing the dentin underneath.
• Overzealous brushing. Toothbrushes with bristles that are too hard, abrasive whitening toothpastes and brushing too forcefully can all damage the enamel and eventually expose the dentin.
• Gum recession. When you don’t brush and floss properly or often enough, plaque can settle beneath the gums, causing it to recede from the tooth and exposing the dentin.
• Tooth decay. The bacteria in plaque can eat away at the enamel until the dentin is exposed.
Preventing Dentin Exposure
The best way to prevent sensitivity caused by exposed dentin is to protect your enamel and gums. Here are some best practices:
• Brush and Floss. Brush twice a day and floss daily. This will help to prevent the gum disease and tooth decay that can lead to exposed dentin.
• Be Gentle. Only use a toothbrush with soft bristles. In addition, you should avoid using harsh whitening toothpastes. Instead, favour fluoridated products formulated to protect and repair enamel.
• Wear a Mouthguard. If you grind your teeth at night while you sleep, protect them from damage by wearing a mouthguard.
• Avoid Sugary and Acidic Foods and Drinks. Staying away from decay-causing food and drinks helps to keep your enamel strong and the dentin covered.
• Visit the Dentist Regularly. You should see your dentist for a cleaning and oral exam twice a year. This way, problems can be addressed before they create irreversible damage.
Treatment Options for Exposed Dentin
If you’re experiencing sensitivity or pain due to exposed dentin, talk to your dentist. They may suggest treatment options that range from changing your toothpaste to using a mouthguard or even in-office procedures such as fluoride treatments and gum therapy.
An Edmonton Dental Clinic
Choose Heritage Dental Centre for your dental care. Whether you’re experiencing pain or you just need a checkup and cleaning, our experienced and professional dentists will take good care of you. Call us today to make an appointment.