Tooth sensitivity is a common concern that patients express when visiting their dentist. The sensitivity of the teeth can, in some cases, make it difficult to eat and drink. Additionally, tooth sensitivity can be a sign of more a more serious issue, such as a cavity.
Knowing how to care for sensitive teeth can provide relief from discomfort while supporting your long-term dental health.
A comprehensive dental examination is the first step in overcoming this common problem. The following will help you to care for sensitive teeth so that you can feel great!
Understanding Tooth Sensitivity
Sensitive teeth can get in the way of brushing, flossing, and eating. For many, these simple activities can cause pain or discomfort.
Sensitivity often results from the wearing away of the enamel of the teeth. But other dental health factors such as decay and damage can also make the teeth more sensitive.
As the enamel of the teeth wears away, the part of the tooth known as dentin becomes exposed. Dentin covers the nerves of the teeth. As a result, its exposure can lead to sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, as well as the acidity in certain foods.
Another common cause of tooth sensitivity is gum recession. This resulting exposed root surface can react to extreme temperatures or touch. For this reason, you should be aware that sensitive teeth may be an early sign of gum disease.
Damaged fillings, cracked or fractured teeth, the use of tooth bleaching products, gum disease, and other factors can also increase the sensitivity of your teeth.
Choosing the Best Treatment Options for Sensitive Teeth
Your dentist can help you determine the best care options for your sensitive teeth.
A comprehensive dental examination identifies the risk factors that may be contributing to your symptoms. This allows you to put the right plan in place for restoring the health of your teeth and gums.
Identifying dentin exposure, cavities, gum recession, or disease can help you determine how to overcome sensitivity issues. The following are the most common ways that you can care for sensitive teeth:
Specialized Toothpaste Products
There are a number of products on the market that help reduce teeth sensitivity. These products are formulated to reduce the pain sensation being transmitted to the underlying nerve.
These products typically require repeated applications, and can be effective in reducing or eliminating discomfort.
Applying fluoride to the teeth can support the health of the enamel and minimize discomfort. In some cases, dentists may prescribe fluoride for patients to use at home.
Gel and foam products can be applied with a mouth tray to expose the teeth to high levels of fluoride and achieve the best results.
Your dentist can apply a bonding resin to the teeth to protect the exposed surfaces.
This creates a barrier between the source of the stimulation and the nerve so that you no longer experience pain when eating or drinking.
Long-Term Care for Sensitive Teeth
In addition to the services that your dentist can provide, you can implement a long-term care plan for overcoming sensitive teeth.
Regular brushing with a soft toothbrush reduces discomfort while ensuring that your teeth and gums are protected against plaque and bacteria buildup.
Use proper brushing technique and a specialized toothpaste for best results. Be sure to follow your dentist’s recommendations, as excessive or forceful brushing can make the problem worse.
Teeth grinding can also cause damage to the surfaces of the teeth and increase the risk for sensitivity issues. Your dentist can provide a mouth guard that can prevent these and other common issues related to grinding.
Knowing how to care for sensitive teeth is an important part of maintaining lasting dental health.
If you want more information on how to treat sensitive teeth, or if you’d like to schedule an appointment, call 289-624-1809 or request an appointment online.