According to the Academy of General Dentistry, at least 40 million adults in the U.S. suffer from sensitive teeth. This common dental issue is characterized by discomfort or even pain in the teeth when consuming foods and beverages that are hot, cold, acidic, or very sweet. While the pain is temporary, for some it can be very intense.
Sensitive teeth is a condition that can be caused by cavities, worn enamel, receding gums, cracked teeth, or root erosion that expose the dentin (the layer under the enamel). The dentin is connected to the nerve that triggers sharp pain in sensitive teeth. In order to reduce the pain associated with sensitive teeth, the cause of the sensitivity must be correctly diagnosed so the appropriate treatment plan can be put into place.
The enamel on your teeth may become worn down due to a variety of reasons, including brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush, suffering from gingivitis or periodontal disease, grinding or clenching teeth, consuming acidic foods and beverages, undergoing frequent whitening treatments, and inadequately cleaning plaque buildup on the teeth.
If you have sensitive teeth, your dentist can help diagnose the cause and offer treatment options to reduce the sensitivity. The Cleveland Clinic recommends several at-home treatments, including using desensitizing toothpaste; find a fluoridated toothpaste for sensitive teeth, instead of a tartar-control toothpaste. Try several brands until you find one that works for you. At the same time, use a soft-bristled toothbrush, avoid highly acidic foods, and use a mouthwash with fluoride each day. Consider getting a mouth guard to reduce teeth grinding at night. If these methods are unsuccessful, your dentist can use bonding, crowns, or inlays to fix a tooth that is causing sensitivity. Dental sealants and root canals are other options that may help. For more information about sensitive teeth, please contact:
Webster Cosmetic Dentistry, Ltd.
1121 Warren Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60515