When it comes to preventive oral care, nothing is as useful as regular trips to the dentist. But, during the COVID-19 pandemic, regular dental services have been delayed or canceled. Many of my patients ask what they can do to maintain healthy teeth while waiting to reschedule their regular appointments. Some have very specific concerns like home care for sensitive teeth.
Now and then I see a patient who has nurtured a toothache for too long. “I have had this toothache for months, and the ibuprofen doesn’t seem to help.” The sad truth is that now there’s most likely a decay-ridden tooth. If the patient wants to save the tooth, the options are limited. In the most severe cases, a root canal and crown or extraction and replacement with an implant will be required.
Many of my adult patients ask whether they should have fluoride treatments. Remember, fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. Adults want to know if there are any specific benefits to adding the treatment to their regular dental exams.
It’s winter. Does taking a breath of the cold air through your mouth makes your teeth hurt? Do cold beverages or food give your teeth a sharp ache? Maybe even foods that are sweet are a problem. If any of these situations apply, you probably have sensitive teeth.
Thanks to improvements in dental care, members of the baby boom generation have a much better chance of keeping their natural teeth than previous generations. While it’s always important to maintain proper oral hygiene, specific issues of aging do affect oral health and require additional attention.
Have you ever been outside on a very cold winter day and noticed that taking a breath of the cold air through your mouth makes your teeth hurt? Maybe you can’t sip a hot beverage or eat something cold without a sharp ache. If any of these situations apply, you probably have sensitive teeth.