Caring for an Elderly Parent With Special Dental Needs

Caring for an Elderly Parent With Special Dental Needs

What Causes Sensitive Teeth And How Can You Prevent It?

Joe Lawrence

Sensitivity is one of the most complex issues that affect teeth. That said, the tooth's top layer is tough enough to protect the tissue and nerves inside from the heat and cold temperatures in the oral environment. However, various factors can cause erosion on the tooth surface. When this happens, you might have a challenge eating foods that are either too hot or cold. Here are the most common causes of this problem and possible ways to prevent it.

Overuse of Toothpaste, Whiteners, and Rinses

Some varieties of toothpaste contain tooth-whitening agents, and some are more likely to have side effects than others. If you are having this issue, you may want to try switching to a paste that does not contain any whitening components. Alcohol is a common ingredient in mouth rinses, together with other substances that can damage enamel and expose dentin, resulting in sensitive teeth. So, bleaching toothpaste isn't the only thing that might cause problems. Try switching to an alcohol-free rinse or brushing and flossing more regularly instead of rinsing.

Plaque Accumulation and Gingivitis

Plaque builds up on your teeth when you eat, and eliminating it requires good cleaning and flossing. However, if the plaque is left to accumulate, it can erode the tooth enamel. The solution is to practice good oral hygiene daily and see a dentist as recommended for professional cleanings. On the other hand, sensitivity in the teeth is a normal part of aging. So, if you are an older adult, ask your dental hygienist to seal your teeth. Ultimately, this is a part of a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and goals.

Tooth Grinding and Acidic Foods

Even though tooth enamel is the body's toughest tissue, it can wear away due to repetitive grinding. Also, constant grinding when you are asleep wears out the enamel. With time, this exposes the inner layer, which contains the canals leading to your nerve endings. If you grind your teeth, you should get fitted for a custom mouth guard from your dentist. This is because custom mouth guards are proven to be the most effective solution. Note that an excessively acidic diet may also cause sensitivity. For example, acidic foods like lemon, citrus, kiwifruit, and pickles may aggravate uncovered nerve pathways. To save your mouth from discomfort, you should either refrain from eating acidic foods or rinse your mouth immediately after eating them.

These are common causes of sensitive teeth. Contact a family dentist in your area to learn more.


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Caring for an Elderly Parent With Special Dental Needs

Caring for an elderly parent tends to be tough enough without the added stress of dealing with dental implants or dentures. But, the prospect is not the end of the world—there are many things you can do to ensure that your parent's dental health is not compromised without having to spend a lot of personal time doing the care yourself. Between working with the right dentist, hiring a service provider for part time work, and giving your parent the tools he or she needs to care for his or her own dental health at home, you'll find that dental health for your loved one isn't so tough or time consuming after all. Hopefully you are able to get the support and information you need right here.