If your teeth twinge when you eat or drink certain foods, or if you experience discomfort while brushing or flossing, it’s likely that you have sensitive teeth. In other words, it’s possible that some of the protective layer of tooth enamel has worn away, exposing the sensitive layer of dentin. Mouth Healthy explains that because dentin contains microscopic tubules (small hollow tubes or canals) and is less dense than enamel, it allows substances (heat, cold, acidic, sticky foods) to reach the nerves and cells inside the tooth.
Though tooth sensitivity can be treated, treatment hinges on the exact cause of one’s sensitivity, some of which are listed below:
- Cavities (tooth decay)
- Fractured, Cracked or Broken Teeth
- Worn Tooth Enamel or Fillings
- Periodontal Gum Disease
- Exposed Tooth Root (often due to receding gum tissues)
With a better understanding of what’s contributing to a patient’s sensitive teeth, a dentist might suggest an in-office fluoride treatment to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce tooth sensitivity. Desensitizing toothpaste is also an option, as it contains special compounds that block the transmission of sensation from the tooth to the nerves. In turn, if decay is to blame, or if a patient’s gum tissues have receded and are exposing a portion of the root, treatment might consist of a dental crown, inlay, dental bonding or a surgical gum graft. In cases where a patient is experiencing severe sensitivity, a root canal treatment might be required to expel the problem.
Otherwise, to reduce tooth sensitivity or to prevent it from occurring, pay attention to oral care at home. For instance, commit to brushing your teeth twice each day, and make sure that you’re using gentle strokes with a soft-bristled toothbrush. In the same way, do not use abrasive toothpaste, but one that contains fluoride. Finally, consider your diet and how much acidic foods and beverages you are consuming, particularly carbonated sodas, wine and citrus fruits. As a rule, remember that water is always a great way to wash away bacteria and balance the acid levels in the mouth.
Are You Experiencing Sensitive Teeth?
If you’re experiencing sensitive teeth, Dr. Leia Porcaro and the compassionate team at Grateful Dental can help. Call today!