You know you have teeth sensitivity when you get sharp pains while brushing, flossing, drinking and eating. It happens due to the exposure of dentin, which is a part of a tooth that lying below the enamel layer. Dentin gets exposed due to various reasons such as tooth decay, cracked tooth, worn-out tooth enamel and chipped fillings to exposed tooth roots due to aggressive brushing, gum recession and gum diseases.
Mechanism of sensitivity
Dentin has a number of pores that run from the outside of a tooth to the nerve center. On exposure, these pores/tubes get stimulated with slight temperature changes of food or drinks causing a sharp sensitivity and pain.
Your dentist can identify if your teeth are sensitive. They can look for dentin exposure and run tests to identify the true cause of sensitivity. If the sensitivity is due to decay, your dentist can prescribe a restoration. A thorough cleaning of the area can be recommended if the identified cause is a gum disease. In case the cause is dentin exposure, there are professional treatments as well as options at home to reduce sensitivity.
Professional options your dentist may suggest
- A fluoride varnish on the exposed areas. This would also ensure strengthening of the enamel as well as that of dentin.
- Fluoride foam or gel to provide your teeth a high concentration of fluoride to strengthen worn out areas. You may need to sit with this in your mouth for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Bonding agents to seal dentin surface. This creates a barrier to the cause of tooth sensitivity.
- Desensitizing toothpaste for the exposed dentin to reduce tooth sensitivity.
- Root canal treatment to correct problems in the dental pulp or the soft core of the tooth.
Options at home:
- Along with changing your toothpaste also consider changing the toothbrush. Use a soft bristle toothbrush to reduce sensitivity.
- Do not over brush. Brush in soft circular motions.
- Continue practicing good oral hygiene. Brush twice a day and floss regularly.
- Avoid acidic foods.
- Wait for 20 minutes before brushing your teeth after consuming acidic food or drinks. These foods soften the tooth enamel. Brushing soon after this may wear away the protective covering of the teeth.
To know more about your options for tooth sensitivity, contact Green Meadow Dental at 3579 B Berlin Turnpike, Newington, CT 06111, (860)- 865- 0056 .Many people from Portland come to our office because we are conveniently located next to Target. Our flexible hours and family dental practice makes it easy for busy families to schedule visits for both parents and children. We also provide dental services to surrounding areas which include East Hartford, East Berlin and Cromwell.