Making Sense of Sensitive Teeth

Making Sense of Sensitive Teeth

Are you having a hard time enjoying your favorite cold dessert or hot beverage because of sensitive teeth? You’re not alone; nearly 1 out of every 8 adults in the U.S. experience problems with teeth that are sensitive to cold and hot temperatures!

What causes sensitive teeth?

Sensitive teeth can be caused for a number of reasons, such as:

  • Tooth decay or cavities – Your tooth enamel serves as a protective layer of your teeth above the gum line. Tooth decay wears down this layer, gradually exposing the underlying dentin layer. When this layer is exposed, it conducts the cold and hot temperatures from foods through the tiny hollow tubes and canals it contains, down to the nerves.
  • Fractured teeth – Like with tooth decay, any type of trauma to the teeth resulting in breaks or fractures can expose the dentin layer, which increases the chances of tooth sensitivity.
  • Gum disease – Underneath the gum line lies a different layer known as the cementum, which protects the tooth roots. Because gum disease causes your gums to recede, the cementum layer could be affected, and result in the exposure of tooth roots.

Treatments for Sensitive Teeth

Fortunately, there are a number of treatments for tooth sensitivity that will allow you to eat your favorite foods and drinks once again! Some of the most popular treatments include:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste – Desensitizing toothpaste contains special ingredients that help block hot and cold sensations from transmitting from the tooth surface down to the nerve.
  • Fluoride gels – Fluoride gel treatments can be done in the dentist’s office. Essentially, the fluoride helps strengthen the enamel to protect the dentin layer from exposure.
  • Fillings, inlays, crowns, or dental bonding – These restorative/cosmetic treatments are used to help repair the damage caused by tooth decay or trauma, simultaneously decreasing tooth sensitivity.
  • Root canals – If a tooth has been damaged enough that tooth sensitivity becomes a chronic condition, another solution is receiving a root canal treatment from the dentist.

If you’re experiencing sensitive teeth, book an appointment with our office today so we can assess your teeth to determine the best tooth sensitivity treatment for you!