However, nearly 1 in every 8 Americans cringe at the thought of sinking their teeth into an ice-cold cone because they suffer from a condition called dentin hypersensitivity, more commonly referred to as sensitive teeth.
What causes sensitivity and how do I know if I have it?
There are many causes of sensitive teeth including cracks, decay, worn enamel, worn fillings and exposed roots as a result of aggressive brushing, gum recession or gum disease. The protective covering on your teeth has been worn away, leaving your nerves exposed and vulnerable to extreme temperatures.
Symptoms of sensitivity differ according to their causes and the severity of symptoms can change over time. If consuming food or drink that is hot, cold, or acidic results in sensitivity or pain, you likely have sensitive teeth.
But I LOVE ice cream! Is there anything I can do?
Fortunately for you ice cream lovers, there are ways to treat your symptoms and prevent further discomfort. Brushing gently twice daily using toothpastes without high levels of abrasives, as well as flossing once a day significantly reduces the chance of tooth sensitivity by increasing the health of your teeth and gums. Maintaining a diet low in acidic food and drink helps to retain the protective layers that keep your teeth healthy.
I did all of this and I’m still experiencing sensitivity…
If these treatments don’t ease your symptoms, your dentist can prescribe an at-home fluoride gel or rinse, or a high fluoride toothpaste specifically designed to fight sensitivity. They can also apply a fluoride varnish to provide additional protection.
If you’re having trouble with sensitivity, schedule an appointment and ask your dentist about the right treatment for you. No one should have to miss out on their favorite frozen summertime treat!
The dentists at Family SmileCare Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, are more than happy to answer these questions as well as any other questions you may have. Feel free to contact us and schedule an appointment!