Tooth sensitivity can be both a quality of life issue as well as signify a need for professional treatment from a dentist. Having sensitive teeth can make drinking a hot or cold beverage very uncomfortable. In fact, sometimes enjoying a hot bowl of soup or even a spoonful of ice cream is unbearable. While tooth sensitivity can affect your dietary habits, it doesn’t have to become a permanent part of your life. There are measures you can take to reduce sensitivity and treatments are available that can increase the health of your teeth while offsetting uncomfortable symptoms.
What causes tooth sensitivity?
A few different things can cause sensitive teeth. Sometimes, patients whose gums have receded due to vigorous brushing practices or gum disease can experience sensitivity. This is because the roots of teeth aren’t coated with tooth enamel and therefore more prone to sensitivity because the tubules inside dentin are more likely to be exposed to debris and bacteria.
Thinning tooth enamel due to damage, disease, or developmental issues is also a common cause for tooth sensitivity. As with the roots of teeth exposed to debris and bacteria, thin or weak enamel can make the tubules of dentin quite sensitive to temperate foods and beverages.
What can I do about sensitive teeth?
One thing patients can try at home is to avoid overly hot or cold drinks and food. We recommend that patients also avoid brushing to hard or vigorously as it can cause the gums to pull away from teeth. Toothpastes formulated for sensitive teeth may also be helpful as they contain ingredients that help seal the outside of teeth to prevent discomfort.
What are my treatment options?
If our dentist determines that a patient requires treatment for sensitive teeth, restorations may be necessary to strengthen tooth structure and prevent future damage from decay or breakage. Sealing the outer surface of a tooth may also be a method of treatment that can reduce discomfort.
To learn more about your treatment options, contact our office to schedule an appointment.