Having Sensitive Teeth can be uncomfortable and take the joy out of eating and drinking things that are hot and/or cold, and even brushing teeth and flossing. Sensitivity can occur due to the following:
- Tooth Enamel (protective layer) Worn Down
- Periodontal Disease, also known as Gum Disease
- Exposed Root(s) of Tooth or Teeth
- Fillings that are Worn and Failing
- Tooth Cracks or Fractures
- Cavities or Tooth Decay
The Enamel of a tooth is the outer, protective layer that covers the surfaces of the tooth that aren’t covered by the gums. Under the gums, another layer called the Cementum protects the roots of teeth. Both the Enamel and Cementum layers cover the Dentin, which is a softer, porous material that is sensitive to hot and cold, as well as touch. When the Dentin is exposed, patients often experience Hypersensitivity which can be quite painful.
Treatment of Hypersensitivity
The treatment of sensitive teeth will depend on the reason for the sensitive teeth. Each of the potential issues, listed above, have different methods of treatment that will be considered upon examination. Self-examination is not enough to tell what the problem may be. What looks like a cavity may actually be a fracture that can be seen with the proper tools and knowledge.
We utilize digital x-ray, intraoral camera technology and other tools to help us effectively diagnose and then we treat the affected area with the appropriate option.
- Fluoride Treatment – We utilize a fluoride gel treatment that will strengthen the tooth enamel and help with the reduction of sensitivity.
- Special Toothpaste – We may prescribe a desensitizing toothpaste that will decrease the sensitivity of teeth and provide more comfort.
- Root Canal Treatment – When a tooth becomes sensitive it may also be due to infection below the gumline at the root of the tooth. In this case, we perform Root Canal Surgery to treat and heal the infected area.
- Dental Crowns, Inlays, Veneers or Bonding – Depending on the surface of the tooth that is affected, we can apply Dental Crowns, Inlays, Onlays, Veneers, or Bonding to resolve applicable issues, usually the same day of diagnosis and treatment planning.
- Surgical Gum Grafting – When sensitivity occurs due to the loss of gum tissue, this procedure will help protect the root and improve sensitivity.
To avoid sensitivity to teeth, as well as other dental issues, we recommend visiting the dentist every six months and following a strict dental hygiene routine at home. Proper brushing, flossing and dental visits will ensure your teeth get proper amounts of fluoride and are free of foreign materials that break down the teeth and cause cavities, gum disease, and other issues. If you have any questions, please call us at 281-492-6064.