Fix Sensitive Teeth
Sensitive Teeth: Causes and Treatments
Intermittent and sharp pain is a common with sensitive teeth. Various things can trigger this pain such as brushing teeth, eating, and drinking. Typically, teeth are sensitive because of tooth roots that have become exposed or because of tooth enamel that has become worn. Gum disease, chipped or cracked teeth, and worn fillings can all also cause tooth discomfort and sensitivity as well.
Discomfort associated with sensitive teeth should be examined as soon as possible to determine the underlying cause of pain in the gum or teeth. Initial treatments or suggestions often include trying toothpaste specifically formulated to desensitize teeth, and/or fluoride treatment. But other more advanced situations can require more involved treatments such as surgical gum graft, bonding, and root canal.
- Desensitizing toothpaste: These toothpastes can help diminish or block any pain that is a result of sensitive teeth. Typically it will take several brushings to experience the relief, but there are various over-the-counter option.
- Fluoride Treatment: Fluoride is a very common treatment used for multiple oral health issues, and can also be applied directly to any specific sites of teeth sensitivity. Fluoride is known to strengthen tooth enamel and can sometimes help with pain reduction. Prescription grade fluoride is sometimes used for treating sensitive teeth, and is usually administered with the use of custom fit trays.
- Surgical Gum Graft: If a tooth root has lost its gum tissue sometimes a surgical gum graft will be the treatment. For this procedure gum tissue that has been taken from another part of the mouth will be attached to the affected site in order to diminish sensitivity and offer protection for the root that has been exposed.
- Bonding: In bonding treatments a bondin resin is applied to root surfaces that are sensitive because of exposure. Often a local anesthetic is used in this treatment process.
- Root Canal: A root canal will be suggested if the sensitivity is causing severe pain even after other treatments have been done. Root canals treat dental pulp located in the soft core of a tooth. While it is a more advanced treatment, a root canal can be a very successful treatment for effective long lasting relief of pain and sensitivity.
In order to prevent recurring sensitivity brushing teeth at least twice a day with a soft bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste is highly recommended, as well as regular daily flossing. Gentle strokes when brushing are recommended, too, rather than more rigorous brushing. Abrasive toothpastes and harsh scrubbing while brushing are discouraged.
If you know you are someone with teeth grinding habits, a mouth guard can be effective in relieving and preventing further sensitivity because grinding can cause teeth to actually fracture which leads to sensitivity.
It can also be helpful to refrain from intaking acidic beverages and food which are known to contribute to enamel deterioration. If you do drink acidic beverages, straws are suggested because they lessen the contact of the acids with the teeth. And always consume a lot of water which helps to balance and hydrate the entire body system, as well as the mouth.