Have you ever experienced tingling or pain on your teeth when you sip a cup of hot coffee or take a bite of ice cream? This is a sign of sensitive teeth. Sensitive teeth can also make you flinch intermittently when brushing or flossing.
Probable Causes of Sensitive Teeth
- cracked teeth
- gum disease
- damaged fillings
- depleted tooth enamel
- denuded tooth root
Our teeth have a layer of enamel that protects the crowns (the area above the gum line) of our teeth. Healthy teeth have an intact enamel. Protecting the tooth root is the cementum that lies under the gum line. Lying beneath the cementum and enamel is dentin.
Dentin contains microscopic tubules (small hollow canals or tubes) and is less thick and solid than the cementum and enamel. When the protective coverings of enamel and cementum are removed, the tubules allow cold, heat, sticky and/or acidic foods to spread onto the nerves and cells inside the tooth. Dentin also gets exposed when gums regress. This results to hypersensitivity.
Sensitive teeth are treatable. The treatment given to sensitive teeth depends on what causes the sensitivity.
Types of Treatment for Sensitive Teeth
- Fluoride Gel is performed in a dental clinic. It strengthens the tooth enamel and reduces the spread of sensations.
- Desensitizing Toothpaste is a type of toothpaste containing compounds that help in blocking the spread of sensations from the surface of the tooth to the nerve. This requires several applications before the sensitivity is minimized.
- Crown, Inlay or Bonding is another procedure that takes place in a dental office. It may be used to correct a decay or flaw that causes sensitive teeth.
- Root Canal is recommended to eliminate sensitivity if it is persistent and severe and cannot be treated with other types of treatment.
- Surgical Gum Graft is performed if the gum tissue has been depleted from the tooth root, to protect the root and minimize sensitivity.
The key to preventing sensitive teeth is proper oral hygiene. Visit a Hilliard dentist today for that much-wanted dental checkup. Dr. Voyles has all the answers to your questions regarding daily oral hygiene and concerns about sensitive teeth.