Tooth / dental sensitivity occurs when the underlying layer of your teeth – the dentin – becomes exposed. This leads to discomfort, often triggered by hot, cold, sweet or sour food and drinks, or by breathing in cold air. Pain can be sharp, sudden and shoot deep into tooth nerve endings. The team here at Pacifica Dental can help 😊
Numerous factors can cause tooth sensitivity, including:
- aggressive brushing
- gingival recession and tooth root exposure
- gum disease
- cracked teeth
- acidic food and drink
- gastric reflux
- fractured prosthetics
- teeth grinding
- long-term use of some mouthwashes
- tooth whitening products or toothpaste with baking soda and peroxide
- chewing tobacco
If you suffer from dental sensitivity, a thorough checkup with a dentist is a must. After looking at any indicators in your medical history, the doctor will consider the intensity of the pain, when discomfort occurs and any stimuli that contribute to the increase or decrease in pain intensity.
In building a treatment plan, the dentist will first consider the various causes that may be triggering tooth sensitivity.
If, for example, aggressive or incorrect brushing is considered to be the cause, the dentist will likely recommend the use of a soft toothbrush and special toothpaste, as well as proper brushing techniques and regular professional hygiene appointments.
Forms of treatment will vary, from topical products to surgery, depending on the cause. Here ae a few options that may be recommended by your dentist:
Attention to diet
Patients with dental sensitivity are advised to pay special attention to their diet. According to specialists, carbonated beverages, citrus fruits, alcohol, and other highly acidic food and drink can dissolve small amounts of enamel over time. Using a straw and drinking water after consumption may help to balance the acid levels in your mouth. A checkup to ensure it is nothing more serious is advised.
Toothpaste specially designed to desensitize teeth can sometimes help relieve dental sensitivity. According to studies, these toothpastes contain potassium salts that have a positive effect on reducing tooth sensitivity. Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush, using gentle stokes, twice daily.
The dentist may recommend an application of fluoride to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce pain. Fluoride treatment is often incorporated into hygiene appointments, which are recommended 3- 4 times a year to maintain good oral hygiene.
Laser treatment is another option for patients with dental sensitivity. Low output power lasers produce an analgesic effect related to depressed nerve transmission, thereby reducing the pain. Ask your hygienist about laser treatment for you.
Surgical gum grafting
Receding gums results in the root surfaces of your teeth becoming exposed, leading to possible decay and sensitivity. A gum graft is designed to cover the exposed roots and thereby remove the chance of any sensitivity developing or worsening.
If there is severe pain, the dentist may recommend a root canal. This treatment addresses problems in the dental pulp deep in the core of the tooth. Some sensitivity needs to have this kind of significant treatment, once other options have proved ineffective.
Working as a team with the experts here at Pacifica Dental, we will identify the cause of your dental sensitivity and recommend the treatment method that most suits your needs. If you want to really enjoy an ice cream or a hot tea, schedule an appointment @PacificaDental.