If chewing, drinking, or even breathing makes cringe with pain, you have sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity is a common issue that may arise due to your enamel wearing down or your gums receding. Around 45 million people in the U.S. suffer from sensitive teeth! Hot and cold beverages, cold air, or touching your teeth can all be painful with this condition. Luckily, there is a solution! Contemporary Family Dentistry provides remedies for sensitive teeth.
The first step to treating tooth sensitivity is to determine the cause. A thorough examination will determine if the source of the sensitivity is from a cavity, a fractured tooth, or dentinal hypersensivity.
THE ANATOMY OF SENSITIVE TEETH
The tooth is composed of two layers of hard structure that contain the nerves and blood vessels in the center of the tooth. The outer layer of the tooth is called enamel and is the hardest substance in the body. Under the enamel is a slightly less hard substance called dentin. The dentin is the source of tooth sensitivity. The dentin contains tubules that transmit sensation to the inner core of the tooth that contains the nerves. It is the stimulation of these tubules that cause the pain you feel with sensitive teeth. Teenagers and young adults are at an increased risk for tooth sensitivity because the nerves or their teeth are very large and closer to the surface of the tooth. Another way that you could develop tooth sensitivity is if the dentin has become exposed by receding gums or worn enamel. Hot, cold (even air), or sweets may touch these areas and cause pain. This process is called dentinal hypersensitivity. While the process may be painful, it is not, by itself, damaging to the tooth.
Another way that you could end up with tooth sensitivity is from cracks in your teeth that allow hot and cold sensations to seep into the nerves. These cracks may develop naturally over time, as hot and cold temperature changes make your teeth expand and contract. The cracks may be microscopic and may be difficult even for a dentist to see. If you have sensitivity in a single tooth, call us to determine the cause right away before the problem gets worse! This type of
tooth sensitivity requires treatment that must be performed by a dentist.
A third cause of a sensitive tooth is a cavity. Again, this type of sensitivity requires treatment from a dentist to prevent the loss of the tooth. A thorough exam must be performed to determine the cause of sensitivity.
SOLUTIONS FOR SENSITIVE TEETH
With sensitive teeth, you may eat, chew, drink, and breathe differently to avoid feeling sharp pains. That’s no way to live! Let our dentists help you and restore your teeth back to being strong and shielded from hot and cold. As soon as you experience heightened sensitivity in one or more of your teeth for longer than three days, get an evaluation from Contemporary Family Dentistry. We can investigate the problem, determine its cause, and measure its extent. Then, we can effectively treat tooth sensitivity to eliminate pain.
With our help, you don’t have to live with sensitive teeth forever! Once we determine that your pain is not from a fracture or a cavity, we can carry out one of a few different types of treatments for sensitive teeth. We may recommend a solution as simple as using desensitizing toothpaste, or applying fluoride (professionally or at home) to the exposed areas of your tooth. These solutions can reduce pain and strengthen your enamel over time.
If those treatments by themselves are inadequate to relieve tooth sensitivity, we may elect to perform dental bonding. We can apply a bonding resin to the exposed area of the tooth to protect it from hot and cold elements. Or, if sensitivity comes from a receded gum line, a surgical gum graft can take tissue from elsewhere in your mouth and attach it to the affected site. A gum graft
remedies exposed roots and solves sensitivity. Maintaining oral health with our help can prevent future sensitivity from occurring.
GET YOUR ANSWERS TODAY
Living with sensitive teeth can be a pain. Don’t just tolerate this problem – fix it! Come to Contemporary Family Dentistry in Bend for an exam and consultation about how best to fix tooth sensitivity. We have multiple solutions, and know that one is sure to be perfect for you. With our help, you can eat ice cream and hot soups without flinching in pain. Speak with Dr. Henderson or a member of her team today for more information!