Tooth Sensitivity

Understanding and Alleviating Tooth Sensitivity

Explore the causes of tooth sensitivity and discover effective solutions to enjoy a pain-free smile once again.

Do you find yourself wincing at the sensation of ice cream or a sip of hot coffee? Does the thought of brushing or flossing occasionally make you cringe? If you can relate to these experiences, you might be dealing with sensitive teeth.

There are various potential causes behind tooth sensitivity, including:

  • Tooth Decay (Cavities): When cavities form, they can expose the inner part of your tooth, leading to heightened sensitivity.
  • Fractured Teeth: Cracks or fractures in your teeth can allow external stimuli to reach the nerves within, causing discomfort.
  • Worn Fillings: Over time, dental fillings can deteriorate or become damaged, leaving sensitive areas unprotected.
  • Gum Disease: Periodontal issues can result in gum recession, exposing the tooth roots and making them susceptible to sensitivity.
  • Worn Tooth Enamel: The protective enamel on your teeth can erode, leaving the dentin underneath exposed.
  • Exposed Tooth Root: When gum recession occurs, it can reveal the sensitive tooth root, causing discomfort.

Within your teeth, there's a layer called dentin, which is less dense than enamel or cementum. Dentin contains tiny tubules or canals, and when the enamel or cementum wears away, it allows heat, cold, or certain foods to stimulate the nerves and cells inside your tooth, leading to hypersensitivity.

The good news is that sensitive teeth can be effectively treated, depending on the underlying cause.

Your dentist may recommend one of several treatments:

  • Desensitizing Toothpaste: These toothpaste varieties contain compounds that block the transmission of sensations from the tooth surface to the nerve. Multiple applications may be necessary to achieve reduced sensitivity.
  • Fluoride Gel: Administered in-office, this technique strengthens tooth enamel, reducing sensitivity by minimizing sensation transmission.
  • Crowns, Inlays, or Bonding: These dental procedures can address flaws or decay responsible for sensitivity.
  • Surgical Gum Graft: If gum tissue has receded, this procedure can protect the exposed tooth root, alleviating sensitivity.
  • Root Canal: In cases of severe and persistent sensitivity that can't be managed by other means, a root canal may be recommended to eliminate the problem at its source.

Remember that maintaining proper oral hygiene is essential in preventing sensitive-tooth pain. If you have any questions regarding your daily oral care routine or concerns about tooth sensitivity, don't hesitate to consult your dentist for guidance and solutions. Your comfort and oral health are their top priorities.