Fix Tooth Sensitivity
Just like routine appointments with your doctor are important, regular visits to the dentist are equally important. When a patient is experiencing discomfort after consuming cold food or drinks, it is especially important to schedule an appointment to visit the dentist. Nearly 40 million people throughout the United States will experience some form of tooth sensitivity at some point in their life.
Patients who have sensitive teeth can experience pain with routine activities such as brushing, eating, and drinking fluids. For most patients, tooth sensitivity is caused by a breakdown of the tooth’s enamel or from the tooth’s roots being exposed. In some cases, however, the pain is a result of another underlying issue such as a cavity, a cracked or chipped tooth, damaged filling, or gum disease.
Patients suffering from sensitive teeth should follow up with their dentist right away to determine the cause of their tooth pain. While the treatment will vary based on the cause and other specifics, the following treatments are often used in the treatment of tooth sensitivity:
- Bonding or Desensitizing: In cases where the root is exposed, the treatment for sensitivity may include an application of a bonding resin. The dentist may use a local anesthetic for the procedure.
- Fluoride: Another solution is applying a fluoride treatment to the sensitive areas of the teeth. Fluoride aids in strengthening the enamel of the tooth. The added protection of the tooth’s outer layer aids in reducing pain. Patients may also be advised to use an at-home prescription fluoride treatment.
- Root canal: In cases where the tooth sensitivity is causing an extreme amount pain and other options have failed, the dentist suggest a root canal. The procedure for a root canal treats issues in the tooth’s pulp. While some patients consider a root canal to be an invasive option, they are highly effective in eliminating tooth sensitivity.
- Sensitive Toothpaste: Once it has been used a few times, sensitive toothpaste can aid in blocking pain from sensitive teeth. Various products are available over-the-counter and can be one of the most affordable treatment options. Follow up with your dentist to see if they recommend a specific brand.
- Surgical Gum Graft: In cases the root of the tooth is missing gum tissue, a small portion of gum tissue can be removed from another area in the mouth and reconnected to the affected area. This procedure can aid in protecting roots which are exposed and treat painful tooth sensitivity.
As with any dental issue, in order to prevent the sensitive teeth from reoccurring, it is important to have good oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene includes twice daily brushing with a soft toothbrush, using a toothpaste which contains fluoride, and flossing every day. Do not use vigorous or harsh movements when brushing. Harsh or abrasive toothpastes should also be avoided. Those who struggle with grinding their teeth should follow up with the dentist to discuss a mouth guard. Bruxism or teeth grinding can cause tooth fractures and result in sensitive teeth.
Patients with sensitive teeth should also avoid consuming acidic foods and beverages, including carbonated drinks, citrus fruits and wine. Over time, the acid found in these items can destroy small amounts of the enamel. When consuming acidic beverages, use a straw when possible to avoid direct contact with the teeth. After consuming acidic substances, rinse the mouth with water.
There are also numerous remedies which can be done at-home to treat sensitive teeth and oral pain. Dentists often encourage a professional solution as at-home remedies often alleviate the pain temporarily, but neglect to treat the underlying cause of the issue.