Tooth Sensitivity is one of the most common dental problems involving a sudden pain in teeth when encountering substances and temperatures. The level of irritation felt however greatly varies between people and depends largely on the causes of the problem.
Anyone who has noticed unexpected shock of discomfort while eating or drinking something hot, cold or sweet, or even at times when brushing their teeth, knows the frustration that the condition can cause. According to a recent study, at least 40 million adults suffer from sensitive teeth in the United States alone.
Various causes of dental sensitivity contribute to the extent and duration of the pain. Generally, the exposure of the dentine, the softer part of a tooth from loss enamel gives rise to the problem. Dentine is more porous and communities with the nerve on the inside, which is usually protected by enamel to prevent nerve stimulation. As the enamel and dentine is the thinnest at the gum line, therefore the suffering can be felt most acutely at the site.
Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
A variety of factors can cause your teeth to be sensitive, including the following:
- Poor oral hygiene that encourages plaque and tartar build-up
- Brushing too hard can wear down enamel causing gum recession and dentine to be exposed
- Periodontal (gum) disease exposing the root dentine which is not protected by enamel
- Cracked teeth can become filled with films of bacteria and can lead to abscess, infection and inflammation in the pulp of the tooth
- Teeth grinding can wear down enamel
- Tooth-whitening products that have harsh chemical content to remove stains, but can also remove the enamel
- Long-term use over-the-counter mouthwashes that contain acids making existing tooth sensitivity worse and bringing further damage to the dentin layer (Go for neutral fluoride mouthwashes instead)
- Consuming high amount of acidic foods that can encourage enamel erosion
- Certain dental procedures including fillings, root planning, crown placement and professional cleaning. The post-operative pain will go away in four to six weeks
How to Treat Sensitive Teeth?
There are several treatments and adjustment plans that you can do to help stop not only the pain but the root cause of the condition as well. If the cause is from dentin being exposed, you can try the following At-Home treatments to reduce the sensitivity.
- Use a very soft bristle tooth brush
- Always go for low abrasive tooth paste specially formulated to provide relief to the nerve endings in the tooth
- Use high concentration fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash daily to strengthen the tooth surface
- Be gentle – Do not brush hard or over brush
- Consider getting a mouth guard to avoid teeth grinding
- Avoid highly acidic foods
If the sensitivity persists more than a few days, it may be the sign of something more serious. In such cases of severe, unremitting pain, only a dental professional can help you. We encourage you to contact our knowledgeable dentists in Grand Prairie to schedule an appointment, who might recommend the following In-Office procedures to alleviate the tooth pain.
- If the cause of tooth sensitivity is cavity, a restoration can be placed and if gum disease is the source, the dentist may recommend thorough cleaning of the area
- Fluoride varnish can be applied on the exposed areas to strengthen and the enamel and dentin
- Fluoride foam or gel may be placed into a mouth tray for 3-5 minutes to deliver high concentration of fluoride
- Lastly, bonding agent may also be used to seal the dentin surface
For Treatment of tooth sensitivity in Grand Prairie call us Today!