How To Deal With Tooth Sensitivity?
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How To Deal With Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity can turn simple things like enjoying your favorite ice cream or coffee into a painful, unbearable experience. A sharp, sudden pain or discomfort in response to certain stimuli like sugar, pressure, heat, or cold often characterizes tooth sensitivity.

Fortunately, you can address tooth sensitivity to alleviate discomfort and prevent further tooth damage. Let’s discuss the common causes of tooth sensitivity and practical tips for maintaining and preventing tooth sensitivity for optimal dental health and comfort.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

Some of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity include:

  • Enamel erosion. The enamel, the outermost tooth’s layer, protects the underlying inner layer of the teeth against external factors like heat, cold, and acids. While very strong, the enamel can wear down gradually due to factors like aggressive brushing, acid erosion from bacteria, diet, and conditions like acid reflux.

When the enamel is eroded, the underlying sensitive layers of the teeth are exposed.  These contain microscopic tubules with nerve endings. Exposure to a stimulus like heat or cold can reach the nerves, resulting in mild to severe sensitivity.

  • Tooth decay or cavities. Bacteria can eat up the tooth’s enamel, exposing the underlying layers and nerves to extreme external factors like heat or cold, leading to pain and sensitivity. Contact our New Westminster dentist if you have untreated decay or cavities.
  • Gum recession. Gum recession is a condition in which gums separate from the teeth and shrink downwards. It can expose the tooth’s roots, leading to sensitivity.
  • Dental trauma. Teeth damage like chips, cracks, and breaks can expose the tooth’s inner layers, leading to extreme heat, cold, pressure, or sugar sensitivity.
  • Over time, teeth grinding or clenching can wear down the enamel, exposing the dentin, leading to sensitivity.
  • Dental procedures. Dental filling, bleaching, and crowns can involve enamel modifications, causing temporary sensitivity.

If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, you should see a dentist near you to find the underlying cause and get the appropriate treatment.

Tips for Dealing with Tooth Sensitivity

Below are common ways to manage or prevent teeth sensitivity:

  • Excellent oral hygiene practices

Tooth sensitivity can result from plaque and tartar buildup due to poor hygiene. Regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing can help reduce bacterial plaque and tartar buildup in the mouth, reducing harmful acids that erode your enamel to cause sensitivity.

  • Desensitizing Toothpaste

There are several toothpaste brands specifically designed for sensitive teeth. Desensitizing toothpaste contains special compounds that block the transmission of sensations from the tooth’s surface to the nerves. It can help prevent or alleviate sensitivity.

  • Fluoride treatments

Routine fluoride treatments help restore the lost minerals in the tooth’s enamel. It reduces the transmission of sensations to the nerves, strengthens the teeth, and protects them against decay. The dentist can also prescribe fluoride toothpaste and gels to relieve sensitivity at home.

  • Consider dental treatments

Suppose you have severe or persistent tooth sensitivity, particularly caused by dental issues like cavities and enamel erosion. In that case, your dentist near you can recommend dental procedures to alleviate your discomfort and address the underlying issues. Common treatments for teeth sensitivity include:

  • Dental bonding. Applying a bonding agent to the tooth can help cover the eroded enamel and prevent the transmission of sensations to the underlying structures. It can reduce the sensitivity and protect the tooth against further damage.
  • Dental fillings. If you have tooth decay or cavities that haven’t reached the tooth’s pulp, a dental filling procedure can help repair the tooth. The dentist removes the damaged or decayed portions of the tooth and fills the tooth with a dental filling material. It prevents sensitivity and prevents further decay, which can lead to tooth loss.
  • Root canal therapy. If the tooth’s innermost layer, the pulp, is exposed or infected, the dentist can recommend a root canal to remove the pulp, to alleviate the pain and prevent further tooth damage.
  • Dental crowns. If a significant part of the tooth is damaged or decayed, a dental crown or cap can be placed over the tooth to strengthen it and protect it from external factors that cause sensitivity, like heat, cold, and pressure.

Preventing teeth Sensitivity

  • Avoiding aggressive brushing

Harsh brushing and flossing can erode the tooth’s enamel and cause gum recession, leading to tooth sensitivity. Brushing gently using a soft toothbrush can help clean your teeth effectively, preventing tooth sensitivity.

  • Get dental sealants

Applying dental sealants can protect the tooth against bacterial plaque and tartar buildup, which often lead to enamel erosion, sensitivity, and decay.

  • Get a mouthguard

A mouthguard can help protect your teeth against damage from teeth grinding or clenching and sports accidents. Consult your dentist about a custom-made mouthguard for maximum protection and comfort.

  • Regular check-ups

Regular check-ups help monitor your oral health and address any potential issues before they worsen. The dentist also cleans your mouth, reducing your risk of dental problems like sensitivity and decay.

Visit our New Westminster dental clinic.

For more information about tooth sensitivity and suitable dental treatments, contact Asante Dental Centre to book your appointment today.