If a sip of hot coffee or bite of cold ice cream makes you wince, you may have sensitive teeth. Worn tooth enamel or an exposed tooth root is often the cause of this common problem. If your teeth are hyper-sensitive, our dentists can recommend a desensitizing toothpaste or suggest in-office techniques to treat or seal your teeth. Practicing good oral hygiene is the most important thing you can do to prevent and care for sensitive teeth.
Sensitive teeth can be caused by:
- Tooth decay (cavities)
- Fractured teeth
- Worn fillings
- Gum disease
- Worn tooth enamel
- Exposed tooth root
When healthy, the crowns of your teeth—the part above the gum line—are protected by a layer of tooth enamel, the strongest substance in your body. A layer of cementum, under your gum line, protects the tooth roots. Underneath both the enamel and the cementum is dentin which is made up of microscopic hollow tubes. When the protective coverings of enamel or cementum are worn or damages, the tubules in dentin allow heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods to reach the nerves and cells inside the tooth. Dentin may also be exposed when gums begin to recede resulting in hypersensitivity.
We can suggest one of a variety of treatments:
- Desensitizing toothpaste contains compounds that help block transmission of sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve. You will usually notice reduced sensitivity after several applications.
- Fluoride gel is applied in our office and strengthens tooth enamel and reduces sensitivity.
- A crown, inlay or bonding may be used to correct a flaw or decay that is causing hyper-sensitivity.
- A Surgical gum graft can replace gum tissue that has been lost from the root; this will protect the root and reduce sensation transmission.
- Root canals may be recommended for severe and persistent sensitivity that can’t be treated by other procedures.
You can prevent sensitive-tooth pain with proper oral care. If you are brushing too hard or too long, gum problems can be the result. Ask us if you have any questions about your daily oral hygiene routine or concerns about tooth pain.
We look forward to giving you the best dental experience you’ve ever had. Call Tidewater Dental Group today at 757-424-1976.