For millions of adults and children of all ages, sensitive teeth represent a daily and on-going problem. With sensitivity being such a common issue, most people like to think they have a pretty good idea about the subject in general. In reality however, evidence would seem to suggest that this isn’t always the case.
As far as the experts are concerned, the best and often the only way of being able to deal with a problem is to first gain a better understanding of it. Which is why dentists worldwide are constantly working to improve their patients’ knowledge and understanding of sensitive teeth. The reason being that contrary to popular belief, there really is no need whatsoever to continue suffering in silence.
So with this in mind, what follows is a brief overview of just a few long-standing myths about sensitive teeth and the respective truths behind them:
MYTH. It’s normal for teeth to hurt when biting into hot or cold foods
This myth stems from the fact that so many people suffer from tooth sensitivity, all over the world. To such an extent that those with sensitive teeth often believe that this is the normal way of things. That teeth are naturally predisposed to heightened sensitivity when biting into hot and cold foods. In reality, with the exception of prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures at both ends of the scale, your teeth really should not hurt when biting into hot and cold foods. If they do, this means you have sensitive teeth – a condition which doesn’t qualify as ‘normal’.
MYTH. Desensitizing Products do not work effectively
The problem in this particular aspect of the subject is that there are indeed plenty of products on the market that make promises they simply cannot keep. Low quality toothpastes, mouthwashes and so on make far too many excessive and unrealistic claims about their properties and effects. At the other side of the market however, there are plenty of outstanding desensitizing products that do indeed work effectively. As such, it is simply a case of speaking to your dentist or pharmacist to advise you accordingly. Make no mistake about it – the very best toothpaste or mouthwash for sensitive teeth really can make all the difference in the world.
MYTH. Hot and cold foods are dangerous for those with sensitive teeth
While it may be painful or uncomfortable to deal with hot and cold foods, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they pose a direct threat to your sensitive teeth. If your teeth are naturally sensitive at any given time, hot or cold foods are unlikely to have any direct impact on the health or general sensitivity of your teeth. Instead, they may just be painful to deal with. That said, it is important that you consult with your doctor or dentist where sensitive teeth are problematic, given that there may be an underlying cause that needs to be addressed. Which for obvious reasons could be a good thing – given that you could get rid of the problem outright.
MYTH. Sensitivity never results in tooth loss
As already touched upon, most people with sensitive teeth accept the condition and believe it to be normal. In reality, there is always some kind of cause for heightened sensitivity. In many instances, it is of no real concern or danger – it is simply uncomfortable and potentially painful. In other instances, sensitivity can be caused by receding gums, cavities, gum disease and other oral health issues. Should this be the case, it is critically important that they be identified and dealt with at the earliest possible stage. The reason being that these are exactly the kinds of problems which, if left unaddressed, could eventually lead to tooth loss. Plus if there is any kind of decay or infection at work, it could eventually spread to the surrounding bone and tissue.
MYTH. Sensitivity does not have a cure
Most of those who live with sensitive teeth believe that it is a condition they are stuck with which cannot be cured. In reality, almost every case of sensitive teeth can be permanently cured, or at least managed effectively. Once again, the best thing to do if you struggle with sensitive teeth is speak to your dentist. If there is any specific underlying cause that needs to be addressed, it will be identified. Otherwise, it is simply a case of using the very best electric toothbrush for sensitive teeth, the best toothpaste and mouthwash recommended by dentists and making sensible dietary choices.
MYTH. Sensitivity can always be avoided
One of the biggest misnomers as far as oral health goes in general suggests that proper oral health and hygiene can ensure you avoid problems like sensitive teeth. In reality, it isn’t quite as simple as this. Even if you have maintained the most immaculate oral hygiene standards from the earliest possible age, this doesn’t mean you still will not face problems like sensitive teeth at any time in life. Which in turn means that there is no point blaming yourself if this happens – it is often something that cannot be avoided. On the plus side, it is also something that almost always can be treated and managed effectively. So rather than suffering in silence, why not take action against teeth sensitivity starting right now?
MYTH. Dietary choices make no difference
Last but not least, while hot and cold foods don’t have any direct impact on the severity of teeth sensitivity, the same cannot be said for certain foods and drinks in general. Teeth sensitivity is caused by tiny holes in the teeth which lead straight to the nerve. Given the fact that foods and drinks that are high in sugars and acids are known to have a detrimental effect on the protective coating of the teeth, they can also affect teeth sensitivity in a negative way. So while dentists generally advise avoiding these kinds of foods and drinks where possible, it can be particularly beneficial to do so if you suffer from sensitive teeth.