If you avoid hot and cold food and beverages just because you can’t stand the pain from tooth sensitivity, then it’s about time you find a solution for this uncomfortable situation. Before we discuss the available treatments, it is important for you to know what causes sensitive teeth in the first place?
According to Icon Dental Center in Everett and Seattle, a number of underlying dental problems can be the culprit.
Understanding the Science Behind Sensitive Teeth
- The tooth is made up of a natural material called the dentin which consists of microscopic tubules containing several tiny nerve endings. An outer layer known as the enamel protects the dentin within the tooth, and the dentin extends down to the root of the tooth and it is protected by a layer known as cementum.
Tooth sensitivity occurs when dentin starts to lose any of the two layers mentioned above. When cementum or enamel erodes, it starts to expose the nerve endings which signal pain to the brain when they are exposed to hot or cold food and beverage.
- Fact – Approximately 40 million adults in the United States alone suffer from tooth sensitivity. You are not alone!
The 6 Surprising Causes of Sensitive Teeth
Now that you know the science behind tooth sensitivity, what causes the cementum or enamel to erode? Let’s have a look at these six causes.
- Consuming highly acidic foods and beverages including alcohol, coffee, and more.
- Gum recession that results in the root surface becoming exposed to hot or cold.
- Temporary post dental treatment sensitivity from procedures such as fillings, tooth bleaching, and crown replacements.
- Eroded tooth enamel from rigorous brushing and using a hard grip to brush your teeth.
- Tooth decay or worn-out fillings and broken teeth that expose the dentin of the teeth.
- Grinding your teeth at night
Available Treatments for Teeth Sensitivity
- The first step towards pain-free teeth is to talk with your dentist so that they can find the underlying cause of your teeth sensitivity. Visit your dentist and explain your symptoms clearly including when you started feeling the pain and whether anything you are using that makes the situation becomes bearable such as toothpaste or any other dental ointment.
After this, your dentist will be able to determine the root cause of the sensitivity and then they will treat the underlying issue. Treatment ranges from fixing a cavity to replacing a worn-out filling. However, should the teeth sensitivity continue after the treatment, then you may have to opt for procedures like gum graft.
- Only a periodontist would be able to guide you if you have gum loss. At Icon Dental Center we have some of the best periodontists available to look at your gum health in Everett or Seattle area.
Temporary Home Remedies
- Although teeth sensitivity should always be brought up with a dentist, there are still some ways that you can control the situation at home. There are numerous over-the-counter treatments available to manage teeth sensitivity.
You can invest in a fluoride gel to strengthen the tooth enamel and reduce the pain or use desensitizing toothpaste that blocks off the exposed nerve endings in the dentin. There are a number of toothpaste brands available that specifically target this uncomfortable situation.
- Use these over-the-counter treatments for a couple of weeks and see if the pain improves. If you are finding relief from such treatments, you can continue to use them until your next visit to the dentist.
Do not ignore the condition because over-the-counter toothpaste for sensitivity is only temporary relief. If you want long-term relief, go for routine dental exams & cleanings or get in touch with a periodontist.