Do cold or hot foods or liquids such as ice cream or coffee cause you pain? Do you have trouble sometimes with brushing or flossing? If so you may be experiencing a problem that affect many people, sensitive teeth.
Possible causes for sensitive teeth can include cavities, a fractured tooth, worn fillings and or tooth enamel, gum disease or an exposed tooth root.
According to mouthhealthy.org there is a layer of enamel that protects the crowns of your teeth—the part above the gum line. Under the gum line a layer called cementum protects the tooth root. Underneath both the enamel and the cementum is dentin. Dentin is less dense than enamel and cementum and contains microscopic tubules (small hollow tubes or canals).
“When dentin loses its protective covering of enamel or cementum these tubules allow heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods to reach the nerves and cells inside the tooth. Dentin may also be exposed when gums recede. The result can be hypersensitivity.”
The treatment recommended depends on what is causing your sensitivity problem. Listed below are a variety of treatments from mouthhealthy.org:
- Desensitizing toothpaste. This contains compounds that help block transmission of sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve, and usually requires several applications before the sensitivity is reduced.
- Fluoride gel. An in-office technique which strengthens tooth enamel and reduces the transmission of sensations.
- A crown, inlay or bonding. These may be used to correct a flaw or decay that results in sensitivity.
- Surgical gum graft. If gum tissue has been lost from the root, this will protect the root and reduce sensitivity.
- Root canal. If sensitivity is severe and persistent and cannot be treated by other means, your dentist may recommend this treatment to eliminate the problem.
The good news is that sensitive teeth can be treated! Ask Dr. Brogdon if you have any questions about your oral hygiene or any issues you may be experiencing with tooth sensitivity. Don’t continue to suffer, we’re here to help.