If you have sensitive teeth, you could be experiencing discomfort due to decay, genetics, age, or even over-brushing! When bacteria build up along the gum-line the dentin becomes exposed, and the microscopic pores that lead to the nerve of the tooth are left unprotected.
Other common causes of sensitive teeth include:
- Acidic Foods and Drinks
- Teeth Grinding
- Recent Dental Treatment
- Gum Recession
- Cracked Tooth
How to Treat Dental Sensitivity
It is essential to see your dental professional if you have tooth sensitivity or pain that lasts for more than a day or two. They can help you identify why your teeth are sensitive and provide tips on correct brushing methods. You can protect your smile against sensitivity at home with toothpaste and mouthwash that contain higher concentrations of fluoride, which helps re-mineralize teeth, making them stronger and more resilient.
If your sensitivity is caused by clenching or grinding your teeth, then a custom mouthguard can protect your teeth while you are sleeping. Nutritional counseling can help you avoid foods that are known to weaken teeth, such as those that are high in sugar and acid.
Sensitivity and Cosmetic Dental Procedures
Many patients with sensitive teeth wonder if traditional dental care will work for them, especially as it pertains to cosmetic dental whitening. On its own, teeth bleaching can contribute to some sensitivity, which can be intimidating to someone whose teeth are already prone to episodes of discomfort throughout the day. As advancements in treatment options move forward, new methods are continually becoming available. Many products are made especially for sensitive teeth and have compounds that help block sensation and strengthen enamel.
Correcting Periodontal Problems and Replacing Old Prosthetics
Sensitivity can also be attributed to gum disease after it has damaged the enamel. If gum disease is allowed to progress, it can reach the roots and cause more severe problems. In some cases, a root canal treatment or a surgical gum graft may be needed to eliminate the problem.
Another culprit could be old dental crowns, which no longer seal out bacteria. Worn out restorations can expose vulnerable tooth structures to debris and plaque and contribute to discomfort. The best way to prevent sensitivity is to brush and floss every day and see your dentist at least every six months. Taking care of small problems before they become painful will help prevent sensitivity and protect your overall oral health.