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Sensitive Teeth

Tooth pain can be terrible, so when it comes to maintaining your dental health, an ounce of prevention is just plain priceless.

Toothaches can make you miserable, but did you know that something as simple as tooth sensitivity can also affect your quality of life? We hope you don’t have firsthand experience with sensitive teeth, but if you do, we have good news: Tooth sensitivity is treatable!

We’ll briefly describe a few of these treatments after addressing the causes of this problem.

Why Are My Teeth So Sensitive?
There are a few culprits that could cause you to experience tooth sensitivity, such as decay, fractured teeth, worn fillings, gum disease, worn tooth enamel, or exposed tooth roots, just to name a few.

Healthy teeth have a layer of enamel that protects the crowns of your teeth. The crown is the portion of the tooth that is visible above the gum line. Beneath the gum line, there’s another layer of bonelike tissue called “cementum,” which protects the tooth root. The tooth root is the lower, two-thirds of the tooth that’s buried in bone to anchor the tooth into position.

Underneath the enamel and the cementum is a hard tissue called “dentin,” which is more dense than bone but less dense than enamel and cementum. Dentin has tiny hollow tubes that are usually covered by enamel or cementum, but when these protective barriers begin to wear away, heat and cold — as well as acidic or sticky foods — can reach the nerves inside the tooth, resulting in hypersensitivity. Gum recession can also expose dentin.

We Have Solutions for Your Tooth Sensitivity
There are different causes of tooth sensitivity and different solutions, depending on the reason for the hypersensitivity. Here are a few solutions:

Desensitizing Toothpaste — This special type of toothpaste contains compounds that block the transmission of sensation from the surface of the tooth to the nerve. This solution may require several applications before the patient will start achieving decreased sensitivity.

Fluoride Gel — Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens enamel by making teeth more resistant to the acid attacks that cause cavities. You can receive an application of fluoride gel during your next visit to our office.

Surgical Gum Graft — If your tooth sensitivity is caused by the loss of gum tissue from the tooth root, then a small amount of gum tissue can be taken from somewhere else in your mouth and applied to the affected site. This procedure is effective for protecting exposed roots and reducing tooth sensitivity.

Root Canal — If other treatments have not been effective in treating your sensitive teeth, then your dentist may recommend a root canal treatment to eliminate the problem. A root canal is considered the most successful treatment for giving a patient permanent relief from tooth sensitivity.

Once again, prevention is always the best way to protect your teeth. Be sure to brush twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste that has the American Dental Association’s “Seal of Acceptance.” Floss once a day, and try to limit your intake of acidic foods.

Remember: Good oral hygiene will help you to avoid tooth sensitivity. But if you’re having a problem with sensitive teeth, please come and see us, and we’ll be happy to assist you.