The yellow-colored dentin layer inside of your teeth is where the nerves live. So, if the dentin becomes exposed, it can cause issues with sensitivity to hot and cold.
There are many reasons tooth dentin becomes exposed, including the following:
- gum recession
- enamel erosion
- root erosion
- dental decay
- cracked or broken teeth
While your dentist will need to definitively diagnose dentin exposure problems and take the proper steps to remediate them, there are a few things you can do at home to help alleviate the sensitivity while you wait for your appointment, including following each of these helpful tips:
Helpful Tip: Only Brush Your Teeth With a Desensitizing Toothpaste
Thankfully, there are many different desensitizing toothpastes on the market today that you can use to help lessen your tooth sensitivity. Since they are all a bit different, you may need to try a couple of different brands to find the one that works the best for your teeth.
In addition to brushing with a desensitizing toothpaste, you can also apply a small amount of it directly to the area where you are experiencing sensitivity or other dental pain. This will help lessen the pain more quickly.
Helpful Tip: Rinse Twice Daily With Warm Salt Water
A salt water solution is one of the best things you can use to both help improve your dental health and lessen pain and sensitivity problems. Mix a teaspoon of table salt in a warm cup of water and rinse your mouth out with it twice each day. This will help with sensitivity problems, and it will also help prevent infection until you can see your dentist.
Helpful Tip: Avoid Using Non-PH Balanced Mouthwash
One of the main ingredients in many over-the-counter bottles of mouthwash and dental rinses is acid. When you have sensitivity issues, rinsing with these products can make the pain worse rather than better, and the acid in the rinse or mouthwash can further add to problems with enamel erosion if you use it on a regular basis.
For this reason, if you choose to use mouthwash, then make sure you read the label and only purchase one without acid. These products are often labeled as "PH-balanced."
Helpful Tip: Always Brush With a Soft Toothbrush
Lastly, it's important to mention that you should always brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush. While it may seem like a hard brush would do a better job at cleaning your teeth, this actually isn't the case. In addition, a hard toothbrush will exacerbate problems with gum recession, enamel erosion, and other common tooth issues.