Sensitive teeth aren’t anything to scoff at. A toothache can be painful enough, but it can be even worse when that pain is affected by the things you eat. Considering your teeth are the frontline of everything you consume, it’s a painful and constant issue if every time you eat something cold or take a sip of a hot drink, you have to deal with a lot of pain.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help relieve your tooth sensitivity. This includes using a teeth guard to help protect your teeth from damage.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
There are plenty of potential culprits behind tooth sensitivity and these range from reasons that aren’t too much of a problem to issues that can cause larger issues.
More serious concerns include problems such as cavities or fractured teeth. However, these aren’t necessarily the most common reasons behind tooth sensitivity.
When most people are struggling with tooth sensitivity, the culprit lies behind worn tooth enamel. This can happen in a few different ways, ranging from grinding your teeth or even brushing your teeth too hard or often.
The reason this causes sensitivity lies in the anatomy of human teeth. Teeth are protected by an initial layer of enamel which covers the entire tooth above the gumline. Below the gumline, the tooth is protected by a compound called cementum rather than enamel. Underneath these layers, is dentin.
When this layer of dentin is exposed, it makes your teeth much more sensitive. This is because dentin has nerve endings that react negatively to strong sensations such as extremely low and high temperatures.
It’s important to note that if you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, it’s a good idea to visit your dentist to see what they recommend. They’ll be able to tell you definitively what’s causing the problem and be able to recommend what you should do about it and how to prevent further damage.
Bruxism and Tooth Sensitivity
Bruxism is a condition in which someone tends to gnash or grind your teeth. This can happen during the day but bruxism is also common at night. It can be severe enough that it’s audible to people sleeping nearby that your clenching or grinding your jaw in your sleep.
Bruxism has plenty of side effects as well. It can damage your jaw, cause tight muscles, and even lead to headaches. These side effects often include increased tooth sensitivity because the damage from grinding your teeth can contribute to wearing down your enamel.
This is another condition that warrants a visit to the dentist. If you start to notice signs that you gnash or grind your teeth at night, it’s a good idea to see the dentist to find out the extent of the damage caused and see what you can do about preventing further damage.
Bruxism and a Teeth Guard
One of the most common ways to fight bruxism, especially at night, is to wear a teeth guard when you sleep. A teeth guard – also known as a dental guard – is a protective covering that you wear over your teeth as needed. For example, while you sleep to prevent damage.
These don’t stop you from the behavior of grinding your teeth but they do stop your top and bottom teeth from directly grinding against each other and causing further damage.
Types of Teeth Guards
If you’re struggling with sensitive teeth and are on the market for a teeth guard, you aren’t limited to a single option. There are a few different types of dental guards you can choose from depending on your needs.
The most inexpensive choice is a stock dental guard. These are easy to find and you can usually pick them up at pharmacies and they’re easy to find online as well. However, as stock models, these have a generic design and tend to be bulky. So, they can be uncomfortable or fit poorly, especially if your teeth aren’t perfectly straight. While they save money, most dentists don’t recommend them since they aren’t meant to fit your mouth individually.
If you still want a rather inexpensive choice that’s better fitted to you, a “boil and bite” teeth guard is a good choice. Unlike stock guards, these offer a level of customization. All you have to do is boil them and while they’re soft, bite down on them to create a mold of your mouth for a personalized fit. These are also generally easy to find.
The most expensive but highest quality option you have is a custom-fit mouth protector. These are designed for you specifically by a dental professional. Your dentist will take a mold of your mouth much like when you’re getting any other piece of orthodontal equipment fitted. From there, they use a special material to create a customized mouthguard for you. These are the best fitting and most protective option you have when you’re looking for a teeth guard for sensitive teeth.
Additional Steps to Help Protect Sensitive Teeth
If you have sensitive teeth caused by factors like bruxism, you’ll want to make sure you take every step you can to prevent further damage. This means taking measures such as keeping up with regular dental appointments and remembering to take hygienic steps such as brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily.
Having sensitive teeth can be painful but you don’t have to just live with it. Taking steps such as wearing a teeth guard can help reduce the damage that your teeth sustain moving forward.