Fix Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is a very common problem that can be very uncomfortable and cause you to change your daily habits. Sensitive teeth can be caused by worn tooth enamel, gum disease, or exposed tooth root surfaces. Sensitivity can also be caused by a chipped or cracked tooth or even an old filling. Most of the time, slight sensitivity will resolve on its own but occasionally, persistent sensitivity may need the attention of your dentist!
Your dentist may advise home treatments before you seek more intense treatment at their office. Some home remedies may include sensitivity oral care products and fluoride treatments. If those do not help, your dentist will be able to treat your sensitivity with either gentle bonding or refer you to a specialist for a gum graft or root canal therapy. Here is a closer look at each of these treatment options:
- Sensitivity oral care products: You may find it beneficial to use a desensitizing toothpaste for a few weeks to help block sensitivity. These do require continual use and should be used as directed for maximum results. You may see improvement after just a few applications. Toothpastes like Sensodyne and Pronamel can make a big difference when used regularly and are readily available over-the-counter. There are also great mouthwashes that target sensitive teeth! Ask your dentist if sensitivity oral care products could work for you.
- Fluoride treatments: Fluoride has long been a tool used to help strengthen teeth and decrease sensitivity. Your dentist can do fluoride treatment in-office or make trays for you to use at home every day for a couple of weeks.
- Dental bonding: Composite bonding can be used to cover exposed tooth roots to stop sensitivity. Gum recession can cause root structure to become exposed and can be quite painful. Bonding seals the roots to protect them from further damage.
- Gum graft: If you have extreme gum recession, a gum graft can be performed by a periodontist to cover root surfaces and ease pain.
- Root canal therapy: If your sensitivity is not caused by gum recession, you may need a root canal. An Endodontist drills an access hole in the affected tooth and cleans out the roots of the infected pulp tissue. The pulp contains the blood flow and nerves of the tooth, so once the tooth heals, you will not experience pain in the area!
The sooner you address tooth sensitivity with your dentist, the easier treatment may be. When left too long, further damage can occur and more extensive treatment will be required. A tooth that is sensitive because of a chip or small cavity can turn into a bigger problem and the tooth can crack if not treated early.
If you are experiencing minor sensitivity, a change in your diet can help greatly! Foods high in acidity and carbonated beverages can cause damage to tooth enamel and increase your sensitivity. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush with a sensitivity toothpaste twice a day can help repair enamel damage. It is also important to floss at least once a day to keep gum tissue healthy and prevent recession.
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