Graham Dentist Explains Everything You Need to Know About Sensitive Teeth

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Graham dentist explains everything you need to know about sensitive teeth

Is a sip of hot coffee or a spoonful of ice cream sometimes a painful experience for you? Do you occasionally wince while brushing or flossing your teeth? If so, the odds are that you have sensitive teeth.

Fortunately, there’s no need to worry; our Graham dentist, Dr. Charly Rose is here to help! In this post, we will discuss what causes tooth sensitivity, how to prevent it, and the treatment options available to you.

What Is Tooth Sensitivity?

Teeth sensitivity can be a painful experience, and it typically occurs when tooth roots have been exposed to the elements. Typically, your tooth roots are protected by tooth enamel. Unfortunately, tooth decay and other oral diseases can wear down your enamel and leave your tooth roots exposed. 

However, tooth pain and discomfort can also happen due to other factors, such as: 

Your teeth roots have several tiny tubules that lead to the pulp, which contains blood vessels and nerves. Stimuli from hot, sweet, or cold foods can pass through these dentinal tubules and reach the nerves. When this happens, it results in pain or discomfort.

Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?

There are many factors that cause people to develop sensitive teeth. These factors include:

  • Gum disease: As the loss of supporting ligaments exposes the root surface that directly leads to the tooth’s nerve, tooth sensitivity and pain can eventually occur.
  • Brushing too hard: Using a hard-bristled toothbrush or brushing too hard can eventually erode your enamel and expose your dentin. It can also lead to gum recession (a condition where the gum tissue pulls away from the teeth and exposes the roots).
  • Gum recession (receding gums): Some people are genetically susceptible to gum recession, while others develop it as a result of periodontal disease.
  • Teeth grinding: Clenching or grinding your teeth can wear down your enamel and expose the underlying dentin.
  • Cracked teeth: Bacteria from plaque can fill your broken or chipped teeth and enter your pulp, causing inflammation and pain.
  • Age: Studies show that adults between the ages of 20 – 50 are more likely to have sensitive teeth.
  • Teeth whitening products: As popular as these types of products are, they are amongst the leading causes of sensitive teeth. It’s best to talk to your dentist if you want to brighten your smile so you can avoid products that can cause sensitive teeth.
  • Plaque: The accumulation of plaque and tartar on teeth root surfaces can pull your gums back and lead to teeth sensitivity. Plaque bacteria also create acid, which can erode tooth enamel and cause tooth decay and sensitive teeth.
  • Acidic foods: Foods such as tea, pickles, tomatoes, and citrus fruits have a high acid content. The more acidic food you consume, the more you put your enamel and your teeth roots at risk. Regularly consuming acidic foods or drinks can eventually lead to sensitive teeth.
  • Mouthwash: Some mouthwashes contain acidic ingredients. Continuous use of these types of mouthwashes can erode your enamel or worsen your teeth sensitivity.
  • Recent dental treatments: You may notice that you have sensitive teeth after a dental procedure like a dental restoration, root canal, dental cleaning, or a filling. However, the sensitivity caused by dental treatment is usually temporary and should disappear within 4 – 6 weeks.

Symptoms of Sensitive Teeth

The most common symptoms of sensitive teeth include sensitivity to temperature variations and sharp, temporary pain or discomfort in your teeth when you:

  • Eat or drink hot, cold, or sour items
  • Brush your teeth
  • Consume sugary foods or drinks
  • Breathe in cold air

Does Tooth Sensitivity Mean I Have an Infection?

Teeth sensitivity can be a symptom of a dental problem or infection like gum disease, cavities, receding gums, or a cracked tooth. However, having a sensitive tooth does not always mean you have an infection.

An infection-related toothache will typically be sharp and throbbing or dull and achy. If you have severe tooth pain that won’t go away, make sure to contact Dr. Rose immediately for further instructions.

Can Pain From a Sensitive Tooth Go Away on Its Own?

It’s true; sensitive tooth pain can go away on its own, especially if a recent dental procedure is what caused it in the first place. However, if the sensitivity lingers, you need to visit your dentist as soon as possible. You might have exposed teeth roots, worn enamel, or other dental issues that require immediate attention.

How To Get Rid of Sensitive Teeth

The right treatment for dental sensitivity depends on the cause of the sensitivity. It’s important to schedule an appointment with your Graham dentist if you develop lingering sensitivity or discomfort. Your dentist will rule out any serious oral health conditions and recommend one of the following dental treatments or at-home remedies to treat the issue or reduce your risk of developing a more severe dental problem:

Dental Cleaning With Desensitizing Toothpaste 

This type of toothpaste contains a compound that can reduce the sensations you feel from your tooth’s nerves. With regular use, you should notice a reduction in tooth pain.

Fluoride Treatment

Dr. Rose can apply fluoride to your teeth’s sensitive areas to reduce pain and strengthen your tooth enamel. She might also suggest fluoridated mouthwash or prescription fluoride, which can be applied with the help of a custom tray.

Good Oral Hygiene Practices

Poor oral hygiene can cause or worsen teeth sensitivity. It’s important to use a proper flossing and brushing technique to clean your mouth and teeth. Dr. Rose recommends the following oral health practices:

  • Using a soft-bristled toothbrush with the right technique to reduce gum irritation and damage to the surface of your teeth
  • Watching what you eat and avoiding acidic items
  • Avoiding teeth grinding (or protecting your teeth with a mouthguard)
  • Seeing your dentist regularly for dental cleanings, checkups, and fluoride treatments

A Crown, Bonding, or Inlay

Dr. Rose can use these procedures to fix the tooth decay or dental flaw that is causing you to have sensitive teeth. In addition, bonding resin can be applied to your exposed root surfaces to cover them.

Surgical Gum Graft

If you don’t have enough gum tissue in your tooth root, Dr. Rose can take a small amount of gum tissue from elsewhere in your mouth to correct the affected site. This will reduce sensitivity and protect your tooth root.

Root Canal

If your dental sensitivity lingers and cannot be treated or avoided with the means mentioned above, Dr. Rose may recommend a root canal to get you out of pain and eliminate the problem.

Sensitive teeth treatment provider in Graham, NC

We Offer Lasting Solutions With Our Sensitive Teeth Treatments in Graham, NC

Sensitive teeth can lead to severe pain or discomfort and signify a serious dental issue. Fortunately, we offer sensitive teeth treatments in Graham, NC, to get you out of pain and eliminate the problem. We also offer several other dental services to address underlying dental problems, protect your oral health, and brighten your smile

Schedule an appointment with us today to learn more about our dental services or get answers from a dental professional about your oral health concerns.

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