By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert
Tooth sensitivity is a common dental problem. At Eggert Family Dentistry, our patients often ask how to get rid of tooth sensitivity so they can start enjoying ice cream and coffee again. We’re happy to tell them that yes, tooth sensitivity can be treated. Often, diagnosing tooth sensitivity helps us uncover underlying oral health conditions that are also treatable.
Why your teeth become sensitive
Enamel is the hard, outer layer that protects the soft interior of your teeth. If it is worn away by decay or aggressive brushing, the soft dentin and nerves inside your teeth are exposed to heat, cold, and pressure from chewing. This is what causes the jolt of pain in your teeth when you sip a hot chocolate or chow down on chewy foods.
Teeth become sensitive to hot or cold for a variety of reasons. The most common culprits are tooth decay, cracked teeth, worn enamel and fillings, and exposed tooth roots. But these conditions are actually symptoms of other oral issues, such as infrequent brushing, overly aggressive brushing, gum recession, periodontal disease and especially clenching and grinding of your teeth.
Treatments for mild tooth sensitivity
If you experience occasional sensitivity to heat, cold, or pressure, we may recommend a desensitizing toothpaste for you to use at home. These toothpastes contain ingredients that prevent the hot or cold sensation from reaching the nerves of your teeth. We may also recommend regular fluoride treatments at our office during your recare appointments.
Treatments for severe tooth sensitivity
But sometimes, desensitizing toothpastes and fluoride treatments aren’t enough to alleviate your discomfort. In these cases, we may recommend a filling, crown, or bonding to fix the underlying decay or worn or cracked tooth. If you have advanced periodontal disease that has exposed the root of your tooth to the elements, we may recommend a periodontal therapy or a gum grafting procedure to repair and heal the exposed area.
Another way to make huge improvements in relieving tooth sensitivity is to look for and treat underlying issues with your bite. By undergoing our records process, we can help you to determine if making improvement to how your teeth come together and how they chew can stop your tooth sensitivity, often for good!
The best way to treat tooth sensitivity is to develop healthy oral hygiene habits to prevent decay and worn enamel in the first place. Regular recare visits to Eggert Family Dentistry are part of any great oral hygiene plan. To schedule your next appointment, contact Eggert Family Dentistry today.