The Best Treatments for Teeth Sensitivity

Introduction

Teeth sensitivity is a common problem that can be caused by a variety of factors, including gum disease, tooth decay, and erosion. Statistics show that one out of every eight Americans suffers from teeth sensitivity. It can be triggered by hot or cold foods and drinks, sweet or sour foods, or even brushing your teeth. 

Understanding Teeth Sensitivity

Teeth sensitivity occurs when the dentin, the layer of the tooth beneath the enamel, becomes exposed due to enamel erosion, receding gums, or other factors. The dentin contains tiny tubules that lead to nerve endings, making it sensitive to temperature and pressure changes. When these tubules are exposed, external stimuli can trigger a pain response. 

Teeth sensitivity can be uncomfortable; therefore, we recommend you bring it up at your next dental check-up or call for an appointment sooner if the problem gets worse. At that time, your dentist can check to see if there is a serious underlying problem and provide you with any treatment recommendations. There are a number of treatments available for teeth sensitivity. The best treatment will depend on the underlying cause of your sensitivity.

Causes of Teeth Sensitivity

The most common causes of teeth sensitivity are:

  • Gum disease: When the gums recede, the roots of the teeth become exposed. This can make the teeth more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
  • Tooth decay: Decay can cause the enamel, the hard outer layer of the tooth, to break down. This exposes the dentin, the layer of tissue beneath the enamel, which is more sensitive to temperature changes.
  • Erosion: Erosion is the loss of tooth enamel caused by acids. These acids can come from foods and drinks, such as citrus fruits, sodas, and sports drinks. Erosion can also be caused by stomach acid that backs up into the mouth.
  • Abfraction: Abfraction is a type of tooth wear that occurs when the teeth are constantly rubbing against each other. This can happen when you grind or clench your teeth.
  • Misaligned teeth: If your teeth are not aligned properly, they may rub against each other, causing sensitivity.

Treatments for Teeth Sensitivity

There are a number of treatments available for teeth sensitivity. The best treatment for you will depend on the underlying cause of your sensitivity. Below are some home /over-the-counter remedies that may help ease the pain of your teeth sensitivity. However, professional care may be the answer instead.  

Home remedies:

Some home remedies can help to relieve teeth sensitivity. These include:

  • Using a fluoride toothpaste: Fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel and make it more resistant to decay.
  • Using a desensitizing toothpaste: Desensitizing toothpaste contains ingredients that block the nerves in the teeth, making them less sensitive.
  • Rinsing with mouthwash: Mouthwash can help to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation.
  • Avoiding triggers: If you know what triggers your teeth sensitivity, try to avoid those foods and drinks.

Understanding the Professional Approach

If you and your dentist decide home remedies and over-the-counter products fall short in providing relief from teeth sensitivity, it’s time to turn to the experts. Your dentist will recommend a tailored treatment plan based on your individual needs.

Common Professional Treatments for Teeth Sensitivity

  • Fluoride Varnish or Gel Application: Fluoride is a powerful mineral that can strengthen enamel and reduce the transmission of pain signals from the tooth’s surface to the nerve. Dentists often apply a concentrated fluoride varnish or gel directly to the sensitive areas of the teeth. This treatment not only provides immediate relief but also promotes enamel remineralization over time.
  • Dental Bonding: In cases where enamel erosion or gum recession has led to exposed dentin, dental bonding can be an effective solution. A tooth-colored resin is applied to the sensitive areas, creating a protective barrier that covers the exposed dentin and reduces sensitivity.
  • Dentin Sealers or Varnishes: These products are specifically designed to seal the open dentinal tubules that lead to the nerves, blocking external stimuli from triggering pain. Your dentist can apply these sealers during a dental visit, providing long-lasting relief from sensitivity.
  • Gum Grafting: If receding gums are the main cause of your sensitivity, your dentist might recommend a gum grafting procedure. During this procedure, a small piece of tissue is taken from one area of your mouth and grafted onto the exposed root surfaces, effectively covering them and reducing sensitivity.
  • Desensitizing Agents: Some professional treatments involve applying desensitizing agents that contain compounds like potassium nitrate or strontium chloride. These agents work by blocking the nerve pathways and reducing pain signals, providing relief from sensitivity.
  • In-Office Desensitizing Treatment: Dental professionals can perform in-office treatments that combine various desensitizing agents to provide immediate relief. These treatments might involve the use of lasers or other advanced technologies to seal dental tubules and reduce sensitivity.
  • Custom Mouth guards: For individuals who experience teeth sensitivity due to teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism), a dentist can create a custom-fitted mouth guard. This protective device is worn at night to prevent the grinding forces from wearing down enamel and exacerbating sensitivity.

Collaboration with Your Dentist

The key to successful professional treatment of teeth sensitivity lies in effective communication and collaboration with your dentist. During your dental appointment, make sure to share your symptoms, triggers, and any concerns you might have. Your dentist will conduct a thorough examination, which might include X-rays, to identify the root causes of your sensitivity.

Once the underlying causes are pinpointed, your dentist will recommend the most suitable treatment options based on the severity of your condition. It’s important to note that while many professional treatments offer immediate relief, some might require multiple sessions to achieve the desired results. Your dentist will guide you through the process and ensure you understand the proposed treatment plan.

Maintaining Results and Preventing Sensitivity

After undergoing professional treatment for teeth sensitivity, it’s essential to maintain good oral hygiene practices and follow any post-treatment instructions provided by your dentist. Using a soft-bristle toothbrush, practicing gentle brushing techniques, and using fluoride-rich toothpaste can help preserve the results of your treatment. Avoiding excessive consumption of acidic foods and beverages, as well as addressing teeth-grinding habits, can also contribute to preventing the recurrence of sensitivity.

Conclusion

Teeth sensitivity doesn’t have to compromise your quality of life. With the help of dental professionals and the array of effective treatments available, you can find relief from the discomfort that has been holding you back. In addition to the treatments mentioned above, there are a few other things you can do to help relieve teeth sensitivity:

  • Brush your teeth gently: Be sure to brush your teeth gently, especially if you have sensitive teeth.
  • Floss regularly: Flossing helps to remove plaque and bacteria from between your teeth, which can help to prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
  • See your dentist regularly: Your dentist can check for signs of gum disease and tooth decay, and they can also recommend other treatments for teeth sensitivity. 

By seeking professional treatment, collaborating closely with your dentist, and maintaining a proactive approach to oral care, you can regain your comfort, confidence, and the freedom to enjoy your favorite foods without hesitation. Cunning Dental Group provides a comprehensive selection of dental treatments, encompassing general oral care, aesthetic enhancements, and dental implant procedures. Our dedication lies in furnishing patients with top-tier dental attention, aiming to assist you in attaining and upholding a vibrant smile. Feel free to contact us now to arrange a visit!

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