Do you find eating ice cream or sipping on a hot drink is sometimes a painful experience? Perhaps you avoid certain foods? If this sounds familiar, you may have sensitive teeth. Teeth can feel sensitive when exposed to hot and cold or sweet and sour foods, and the sensations may range from a mild twinge to feeling more severe pain.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
Sensitive teeth can be due to several different things such as untreated cavities, worn or crumbling fillings, or teeth that have fractured. Teeth can fracture or chip if you have bruxism, where you clench and grind your teeth during sleep. Sensitivity may also be due to gum disease and especially if the gums have receded exposing your tooth roots.
Sometimes tooth enamel can become worn, which increases the risk of tooth sensitivity. It’s even possible to wear down your tooth enamel by brushing your teeth too hard! If you have recently whitened your teeth, it’s possible the products may have caused tooth sensitivity and especially if you left them on your teeth for a little bit too long! In this case, make sure you stop using the whitening products straightaway, and you may want to talk to us about whitening your teeth professionally, which is safe and highly effective.
Usually, healthy teeth are protected by enamel, which covers the crown of the tooth that is visible above the gum line. Just underneath the gum line, the tooth roots are covered with cementum. Directly underneath the tooth enamel and cementum is another layer called dentin. Dentin isn’t as dense as cementum and enamel and is made from tightly packed microscopic tubules that are hollow. Without the protective coating of enamel or cementum, these tubules allow the sensations of hot or cold, and sweet or sour foods to reach the nerves inside the tooth.
Diagnosing and Treating Sensitive Teeth
If you are concerned about tooth sensitivity, our dentist in Oshawa can help you. It is essential to find out why you have sensitive teeth, just in case it is caused by an untreated dental problem. A dental checkup here at Margolian Dentistry will diagnose the reason for your tooth sensitivity, and we can provide you with the most appropriate treatment.
If a tooth is damaged, we can provide restorative care such as filling a cavity or replacing ageing fillings. Tooth grinding and clenching is often treated effectively with a custom night splint. You wear it while asleep, and it prevents your teeth from touching so you can no longer clench and grind. If the sensitivity is due to gum disease in Whitby, we can provide appropriate periodontal care to help restore gum health. Gum disease may well be a problem if you’ve noticed your gums bleed when you brush or floss.
When tooth enamel has become worn due to over brushing, we can work with you to improve your brushing techniques and can advise you about the right type of toothbrush to choose. You only need a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your teeth effectively.
Other Treatments That Can Help
Professional applications of fluoride in Ajax can help to harden tooth enamel, reducing sensitivity. Fluoride can be applied as a gel, foam or varnish and can be highly effective.
Another thing you may want to try is to use desensitizing toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth. This contains compounds that help to block the tubules, preventing sensations at the surface of your teeth from reaching the tooth nerve. It can be highly effective, but please remember you need to use this type of toothpaste for several weeks to gain the full benefits, and you will need to continue using it to help reduce tooth sensitivity.
With the right treatment, you should be able to enjoy that ice cream without wincing in pain.