Fix Tooth Sensitivity
When a person has sensitive teeth, it can be painful to engage in even the simplest activities. Eating, drinking, and brushing the teeth can cause sharp, shocking pain; while this pain is temporary, it can be intense and unpleasant. Usually, sensitive teeth are caused by either exposed tooth roots or by worn enamel. Sometimes, however, tooth sensitivity can be caused by a cavity, a chip or crack in a tooth, a damaged dental restoration, or even by gum disease. If you have sensitive teeth, see your dentist for a diagnosis. It’s important to eliminate the possibility of any underlying, more serious issues, too. Your dentist can offer a variety of solutions for your tooth sensitivity, depending on its cause.
Desensitizing toothpaste, if used regularly, can help reduce or eliminate the pain of sensitive teeth. These desensitizing toothpaste products are available over-the-counter, but your dentist can recommend some options that may be suitable and beneficial for you. Professional fluoride applications may also help relieve sensitive teeth. When applied directly to the sensitive areas of the teeth, clinical amounts of fluoride can help restore and strengthen tooth enamel and can help reduce tooth pain. You may also receive a prescription for fluoride that can be applied at home with a custom-made tray that will help hold the fluoride tight to your teeth.
If tooth sensitivity is caused by exposed root surfaces, this can be remedied by applying bonding resin to any exposed surfaces. This may require local anesthetic. Dentists may also perform surgical gum grafts when the roots of teeth are exposed, especially if the root of the tooth has lost the gum tissue that once protected it. A small amount of healthy tissue is removed from another area in the mouth and grafted over the exposed root, protecting the root and reducing pain.
If no other treatments are effective, and the pain associated with your sensitive teeth is severe, you may need a root canal treatment. Root canal treatments address problems in the soft tissue inside the teeth, the material known as the pulp. The pulp is rich with blood vessels and nerve endings, making it highly susceptible to pain, and when it becomes infected, the pain can be quite intense. While a root canal treatment may seem like a serious treatment, it is widely believed to be the most foolproof approach to effectively eliminating tooth pain and sensitivity.
Tooth pain and sensitivity can be managed with effective oral hygiene, including brushing twice daily with a soft-bristled brush and flossing daily. It’s important to brush gently and to use a non-abrasive toothpaste. Using a mouth guard if you are prone to grinding your teeth can reduce sensitivity caused by this habit, and it can help prevent fractures in the teeth that can lead to greater sensitivity. It may also be helpful to use a straw when drinking acidic beverages, and to rinse the mouth with water after consuming acidic foods and drinks, as these can gradually erode the enamel on the teeth and exacerbate sensitivity.