Have you ever taken a delicious bite of ice cream only to cringe as the creamy food hits your mouth? When you have sensitive teeth, high or low temperatures can set off pain in your mouth. It can be difficult to deal with if you don’t understand where the pain is coming from or how to address it.
What is Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity usually presents as a sudden sharp pain emanating from your teeth, usually in response to eating or drinking. It is very common – at least 40 million adults suffer from sensitive teeth in the United States, according to the Academy of General Dentistry.
What causes Tooth Sensitivity?
Each tooth contains four parts. The enamel comprises the visible portion of the tooth and is the hardest part of the tooth. The dentin is the layer below the enamel. It is softer than enamel. The cementum is a layer of material on the root of your teeth to help anchor the teeth into the jaw. Cementum is softer than dentin. The pulp is in the center of the tooth and contains soft connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves.
The key factors that lead to tooth sensitivity are essentially gum recession and loss of cementum and/or enamel. Gum recession can be caused by periodontal disease or by brushing too hard. Loss of tooth enamel, on the other hand, occurs when enamel is worn down. Once these conditions occur, the pain of teeth sensitivity can be triggered by heat, cold, change in pressure, sweet or sour foods and drinks, which, because of the loss of gums, cementum and/or enamel, is transmitted to the nerves and received as pain.
Gum recession and loss of cementum and enamel can be caused by several things:
- Forceful tooth brushing – brushing too hard, or using an incompetent toothbrush.
- Gum recession which exposes dentin from periodontal disease.
- Gingivitis which exposes the tooth root.
- A cracked tooth which becomes filled with bacteria and infect the pulp of the tooth.
- Teeth grinding or clenching.
- Improper teeth whitening products or improper use of same
- Plaque buildup.
- Long-term use of mouthwash which contains acids or acidic foods.
- Dental procedures may cause sensitivity for short periods of time.
How Do We Treat Tooth Sensitivity?
Because there are so many causes of tooth sensitivity, proper treatment means identifying and addressing the underlying cause. So for example, if nighttime teeth grinding is the cause, it would be important to first address the grinding. Once the underlying cause is addressed, the patient’s sensitivity can also be relieved in several ways:
- A Silver Diamine Fluoride treatment is very effective and FDA approved to treat tooth sensitivity.
- Desensitizing toothpaste
- Bonding, dental crown or inlays which can fix exposed teeth structures if they are the cause.
- Fluoride gel or varnish.
- Surgical gum graft in the case of receded gums.
- A Root canal; This is a last-resort treatment for severe tooth sensitivity that has not been helped by other methods.
Preventing Tooth Sensitivity
We advise patients with sensitive teeth who visit our Fountain Hills dental office to take precautions after treatment to ensure the toothaches do not come back. A few of the guidelines we endorse include:
- Get a new toothbrush : A brush with soft bristles won’t be as hard on your gums.
- Avoid acidic foods : Tomatoes, citrus, coffee and more can increase the breakdown of enamel.
- Rinse with mouthwash every day : Use a fluoridated brand to offer more protection.
- Buy a mouth guard to wear at night : This will protect you against tooth grinding.
Prevention can reduce the incidence of tooth pain. If you continue to experience sensitivity, the toothache could be due to a tooth infection rather than sensitivity. Make an appointment with our Fountain Hills, Arizona, office to rule out other possibilities.
Why Choose Parkview Dentistry for Tooth Pain Treatment?
Tooth sensitivity is a common problem we see among many of our patients. We have experience assisting them with this persistent but treatable condition. We see patients of all age ranges, from children to grandparents, and anyone can suffer from this condition.
Dr. Laskis knows the signs of tooth infections and how to differentiate them from sensitive teeth. Once she has examined you and figured out the issue, we can discuss treatment options. We always include you in the decision-making process. We want to hear your thoughts and your input.
That includes discussing the financial options for treatment. Your insurance may cover a portion of what we recommend, and you will be responsible for paying the rest. Tooth sensitivity treatments tend to be affordable. We have financing options for those who prefer to pay off the treatment over a longer period. Choosing our office comes with many benefits:
- Dr. Laskis is well-known in the area and has an excellent reputation, including winning “Top Doctor” in 2018 from Phoenix Magazine.
- We offer services for the entire family, saving you time by visiting one office.
- We never rush you. We will go over your options and discuss treatment so you can understand what you need to do next.
Visit Parkview Dentistry in Fountain Hills to Treat Your Tooth Sensitivity
We want to provide you with the best dental care. If your teeth feel sensitive, we can address the problem in different ways. Tooth sensitivity happens to many people, and we have proven treatments that can ease your discomfort. You will love the personal attention and care you receive when you visit Parkview Dentistry. Our staff cares about you and your oral health, and they will do everything they can to assist you with your problem.
Don’t suffer when you don’t need to! For more information, or if you wish to schedule an appointment with Dr. Laskis, please contact us today.
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