As the weather gets colder, soup season is quickly approaching! We want you to be able to enjoy your nice, hot soup without taking a sip and instantly feeling pain or discomfort. How could that happen? Through teeth sensitivity.
From having a mild twinge to severe pain for days on end, having sensitive teeth is a common condition that your dentist can efficiently resolve for you. Statistics suggest that one in eight individuals in the United States experiences tooth sensitivity.
Good news? You’re not alone, and your dentist at The Landing Dental Spa is here to treat your sensitivity so you can be eating your favorite soup in no time. Continue reading below for more information on dentin hypersensitivity and how we can help you.
WHAT CAUSES SENSITIVE TEETH
The Journal of the American Dental Association found that more than 12 percent of patients experience sensitive teeth. Averaging four patients, and the condition is common among young people, women, people with receding gums and those who whitened their teeth at home.
Sensitive teeth result from either worn tooth enamel or tooth roots being exposed. Other factors such as cavities, cracked teeth, worn filling, or gum disease can also lead to tooth sensitivity.
Your teeth are predominantly made from the substance called dentin, which contains microscopic tubules encompassed with small nerve endings. Enamel, the hard outer layer protects dentin within the crown of your tooth. The American Dental Association (ADA) states that dentin hypersensitivity (nerve irritation) happens when the dentin loses its protective covering of enamel, leaving the nerve endings to be exposed to hot, cold, acidic or sticky foods.
Other factors can also cause tooth sensitivity, including, but not limited to:
- Brushing with a hard toothbrush
- Brushing aggressively
- Tooth erosion from certain foods and beverages
- Gum recession which leaves your root surface exposed
- Grinding your teeth at night
- Post-dental treatment sensitivity
Symptoms of tooth sensitivity could include:
- Sporadic tooth pain or discomfort
- Tooth sensitivity localized to one tooth
- Sharp pain when eating or drinking
- Staining on the surface of your teeth
- Discomfort when hot or cold substances are touching your tooth
TREATMENT FOR SENSITIVE TEETH
According to Colgate, “treatment can be as simple as fixing a cavity or replacing a worn filling.”
- In-office fluoride gel – This product helps to strengthen tooth enamel and reduces any pain or discomfort.
- Over-the-counter desensitizing toothpaste – Blocks off nerve endings in exposed dentin. This option is beneficial for those with mild tooth pain. Desensitizing toothpaste can aid in minimizing any pain or discomfort with sensitive teeth. Brands such as Colgate and Sensodyne are highly rated for patients. For the best results, you can ask your dentist which product they recommend for your specific condition.
- Get treated with root canal therapy. If you are experiencing an exposed root surface, it can be managed through a straightforward procedure to relieve your dental pain. This treatment will remove the pulp in your teeth (tooth’s soft-core), clean and disinfect the area and place a filling to seal the area. Root canal therapy is considered one of the most successful techniques for getting rid of tooth sensitivity.
- Consider getting a mouthguard. If you find yourself grinding your teeth at night, that can cause teeth to fracture and sensitivity. Occlusal guards are removable mouth guards to prevent any damage to your teeth as you sleep. Discuss the possibility of obtaining a mouthguard with your dentist.
Visit your dentist to get to the root of the problem. Talk with your dentist to explain what sensation(s) you are experiencing, and you will receive assistance for options to find relief. Tell your dentist when the pain started, where it hurts and any other symptoms you’re feeling. They will be able to determine what the next best steps are for you.
Brush your teeth twice daily. It is recommended for you to brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use fluoride toothpaste and floss for thorough cleaning to minimize any chance of enamel decay or gum disease development.
Use the right products. Use products specifically made for people with sensitive teeth. Both toothpaste and fluoride are helpful when used in specific areas of your teeth to strengthen enamel. Your dentist might suggest a prescription fluoride, or you can look into brands like CloSYS or ACT.
Be mindful of certain foods and drinks. Acidic foods and beverages like carbonated drinks, fruit juices, wine, sour candies, chips, ice cream, etc. can remove small amounts of enamel as you go through your normal day-to-day. Consider using a straw when drinking acidic liquids to reduce direct contact with your teeth.
Keep in mind that it can take up to a week for you to notice any changes in pain when you use home remedies. If you do not experience a difference, please schedule an appointment with your dentist to find a solution to your dentin sensitivity further.
FAQs OUR DENTISTS GET ASKED ABOUT SENSITIVE TEETH
Below are some common questions we receive when it comes to sensitive teeth:
- Is it common to experience tooth sensitivity?
With at least 40 million adults in the United States experiencing sensitive teeth, it is safe to say that it is a shared experience. Don’t worry, your dentist can treat this and have you eating your favorite ice cream again, pain-free, in no time.
- How can I avoid sensitivity?
There are several kinds of toothpaste that contain abrasive ingredients that can be too harsh for people with sensitive teeth. Ingredients in whitening tubes of toothpaste or tartar-control types of toothpaste can increase tooth sensitivity. It is best to avoid these harsher products if you are experiencing tooth sensitivity. We recommend using products labeled for individuals with sensitive teeth.
- How do I know when I should contact my dentist?
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity for more than four days, please contact your dentist to schedule an appointment. The sensitivity could be a sign of more than just worn down enamel; for instance, you could have a cavity or abscess that isn’t visible yet. Your dentist will determine the exact problem and will be able to guide you in the best direction for treatment.
- What should I tell my dentist at my appointment?
Your dentist is there to provide you with guidance and medical assistance to take away any pain you’re feeling. Explain to them any sensation you are feeling, triggers that affect it by making the pain worse, when it started, etc. The more information you provide to your dentist, the better understanding they will have to help you further.
- What should I do after my dentist has treated my tooth sensitivity?
Your dentist will give you proper instructions following your appointment for your benefit. You may be advised to stay away from certain foods or drinks or for a short timespan or adjust to a new oral healthcare routine to reduce the chances of irritation and maximize treatment.
THE LANDING DENTAL SPA | SENSITIVE TEETH
If you are experiencing sensitivity when eating your favorite ice cream or drinking hot coffee, then we believe it is time to make an appointment with one of our knowledgeable and talented dentists at The Landing Dental Spa. Let us take away your painful sensations in our relaxing, spa-like atmosphere. We guarantee you will leave with a smile on your face – which will make us smile in return!
From dental exams and cleanings, crowns, dental fillings, dental emergencies and more, our staff is here to provide the utmost quality dental services to you and your loved ones.
Enjoy the weather with festive hot drinks and foods, pain-free. Schedule your appointment with us today and give us a call at 304-594-2200.