How Do You Treat Tooth Sensitivity?
If the thought of biting into your favorite ice cream makes you wince, you may have sensitive teeth, and your trusted team at Tracey Dental is here to help. Dr. Long will determine the cause of your tooth sensitivity and will outline a comprehensive treatment plan to relieve your discomfort. You don’t have to live with tooth sensitivity anymore!
What Are the Causes of Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity typically occurs when the porous tissue beneath the tooth enamel called the dentin becomes exposed. Inside the dentin are microscopic channels called tubules, which are the pathways to the nerves. When these tubules are exposed, the nerves become easily triggered by stimuli.
The most common causes of tooth sensitivity include the following:
- Tooth enamel abrasion due to vigorous brushing with a hard-bristled brush
- Gum recession due to periodontal (gum) disease
- Tooth wear due to teeth grinding and clenching, a condition known as bruxism
- Having a chipped, broken, or damaged tooth
- Tooth enamel erosion due to consuming acidic foods and beverages
- Medical conditions, including bulimia and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), which expose the teeth to stomach acids
- In some cases, tooth sensitivity results from having naturally thin tooth enamel
What Are the Symptoms of Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is characterized by pain or discomfort in response to specific triggers or stimuli, including exposure to hot or cold temperatures, consuming sweet or acidic foods, tooth brushing or flossing, and using alcohol-based mouth rinses. The pain or discomfort is immediate but typically subsides shortly after removing the trigger. Symptoms of tooth sensitivity range from mild to intense and may come and go for no apparent reason.
Tooth Sensitivity Treatments
If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, contact your trusted team at Tracey Dental for an appointment. Dr. Long will evaluate every aspect of your oral health and will check for potential problems, including decayed, fractured, or worn teeth, as well as damaged restorations or recessed gums.
Here are some ways we treat tooth sensitivity:
- Restorative Dentistry: Any damage to your teeth or existing restorations will require repair using restorative procedures, such as fillings or crowns.
- Desensitizing or Bonding: If exposed root surfaces are the cause of your tooth sensitivity, applying dental bonding to the sensitive root surfaces will prevent further damage and will help alleviate your discomfort.
- Fluoride Treatment: If decay and cavities are behind your tooth sensitivity, in-office fluoride treatments can help strengthen your tooth enamel and reduce your discomfort.
- Surgical Gum Graft: Severe gum tissue loss or recession may require a gum graft, which helps protect the exposed tooth roots and reduces tooth sensitivity.
- Custom Night Guard: If you habitually grind and clench your teeth in your sleep, a custom mouthguard known as a night guard will prevent your teeth from wearing down.
- Treating Medical Conditions: If a medical condition is the cause of your enamel damage and tooth sensitivity, we may refer you to your healthcare provider for treatment before we repair your teeth.
- Root Canal Therapy: If all conservative treatment options fail to relieve your discomfort, we may recommend root canal therapy, which is known to be the most effective treatment for tooth sensitivity.
Healthy Habits for Healthy Smiles
One of the best ways to prevent or manage tooth sensitivity is to maintain healthy teeth and gums. We recommend brushing your teeth gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush at least twice a day and flossing daily to keep dental disease at bay. Using desensitizing toothpaste will help alleviate any discomfort, and rinsing with an alcohol-free mouthwash will keep your mouth clean and fresh without irritating your sensitive teeth.
Tooth Sensitivity Relief in McKinney, TX
We at Tracey Dental encourage you to keep up with your twice-a-year dental exams and cleanings. That will allow us to identify and treat any conditions early on, which will help maintain healthy gums and tooth enamel and keep tooth sensitivity at bay. Call us and schedule your appointment today!