Fix Tooth Sensitivity
Causes and Treatment for Sensitive Teeth
If you are experiencing sensitivity in your teeth, certain things such as eating, drinking, and brushing can cause intermittent but very sharp pain in your teeth. Usually the result of tooth enamel that has been worn down or a tooth root that is exposed, tooth sensitivity can become hard to ignore. There are other factors that can cause sensitivity, as well though, such as gum disease, a worn filling, a chipped or cracked tooth, or a cavity.
If the sensitivity is bothering you, make an appointment with your dentist immediately so that the underlying cause of tooth pain can be identified and treated properly. Typical treatment include desensitizing toothpaste, fluoride treatments desensitizing and/or bonding treatments, surgical gum graft, and root canal.
Desensitizing toothpaste can often help inhibit pain in sensitive teeth. There are a variety of types and all are available over-the-counter, but your dentist can recommend a product that will be right for you.
Fluoride can be used as a treatment by dentists for sensitive teeth as well. Often the fluoride is applied to the sensitive areas to help strengthen tooth enamel and to help decrease pain. Prescription fluoride and/or fluoride administered to teeth with custom trays are also frequently used.
Desensitizing and/or bonding is a treatment used for sensitive caused by exposed tooth roots where the a bonding rising is applied to the sensitive surfaces of the roots.
Surgical gum grafts are used if the root of the tooth has lost some of its gum tissue. For this treatment a small bit of gum tissue is taken from another place in the mouth and then attached to the sensitive site. This can be very effective in protecting roots that have been exposed and in reducing the sensitivity.
Root canals are used if the tooth sensitivity is causing severe pain and other treatments have been ineffective. Root canals are used in treating issues in the dental pulp (a tooth’s soft core). This treatment is a more serious treatment and is used in more extreme cases, but it is considered the best and most successful treatment in elimination of sensitivity.
Prevention of Recurring Sensitivity
There are various at-home techniques for reducing and/or preventing the recurrence of tooth sensitivity including the following:
- Brush the teeth twice daily with soft (or extra soft) toothbrush using gentle strokes. Avoid harsh or vigorous scrubbing.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste. Avoid using any abrasive toothpastes.
- Floss twice daily
- If you grind your teeth try using a mouth guard (provided by a dentist). Grinding of the teeth can cause sensitivity by fracturing the teeth.
- Avoid or reduce acidic foods and beverages like citrus fruits, wine, and carbonated drinks. Over time these can all slowly remove tooth enamel. If you do ingest acidic liquids try using a straw to reduce contact of the liquid with the teeth. You can also drink water after drinking acidic beverages to balance the mouth’s acid levels.