Tooth Sensitivity

If a tooth or teeth are painful when drinking water, or other hot and cold beverages, this is an indication of sensitivity.

If you have sensitive teeth, hot foods and drinks can unexpectedly trigger a jolt of pain fast. This pain is the result of enamel wearing away over time, exposing the soft, inner part of the tooth, where the nerves live.

Tooth sensitivity can be caused by a variety of issues which include cavities, cracked teeth, tooth grinding or clenching, missing or old worn fillings, enamel erosion and receding gums.  Your dentist can determine which of these causes apply to you and treat them as well as offer suggestions to lessen the sensitivity.

Following are some suggestions that may help:

Use a soft bristled toothbrush.  Use gentle strokes, rather than vigorous or harsh scrubbing, and avoid using an abrasive toothpaste

Wear a mouthguard. This can prevent grinding of teeth during the night.

Toothpaste for sensitivity. Regular use of this type of toothpaste can sometimes help block pain associated with sensitive teeth. There are a variety of products available over the counter.

Change your eating and drinking habits. Avoid acidic foods and drinks, such as carbonated drinks, citrus fruits and wine all of which can remove small amounts of tooth enamel over time. When drinking consider using a straw and drinking room temperature water after eating or drinking foods

Fluoride treatment. Your dentist can apply fluoride over sensitive areas to strengthen tooth enamel.

Bonding treatment. Occasionally, exposed root surfaces can be treated by applying bonding resin to the sensitive root surfaces.

If your sensitive teeth cause severe pain and other treatments aren’t effective, your dentist might recommend a root canal — a procedure used to treat problems in the tooth’s soft core (dental pulp). Although a significant treatment, it is mostly successful for eliminating tooth sensitivity.

Although tooth sensitivity is caused by a variety of issues, it’s likely that it won’t go away by itself. Please see a professional dentist who can diagnose the cause of your pain and recommend a treatment.