How to Treat Sensitive Teeth
In a study conducted by the American Dental Association in 2013, it was found that 1 in 8 (or 12%) of the surveyed adults suffered from sensitivity issues with their teeth. This means that for these people, hot or cold foods like coffee and ice cream can cause sharp toothaches. In severe cases, even cold winds can trigger pain. This happens because, in some people, the enamel of their teeth can degrade over time and expose the dentin. The dentin layer is close to the pulp of the teeth, where nerve endings are present. Thus, when hot or cold food comes in contact with the dentin, it can affect the nerve endings in the pulp and cause pain, leading to sensitive teeth.
A variety of issues can result in sensitive teeth. It is usually caused by enamel erosion due to bad oral hygiene or dietary habits. Sensitivity can also be caused by cavities, gum disease, broken teeth, worn-out fillings, etc. Teeth bleaching, which is a method used for teeth whitening, can also result in sensitivity. But, the sensitivity caused by bleaching is only temporary and won’t leave any lasting damage on otherwise healthy teeth. Abrasives in certain dental products, such as toothpaste and whitening gels, can erode the enamel and result in sensitive teeth.
For a lot of people, sensitivity issues can be debilitating and hamper everyday functions like eating. It can also stop you from enjoying a lot of your favorite foods, like ice cream, cold drinks, etc. Let us now look at some of the ways in which sensitive teeth can be treated.
Hydrogen peroxide: Being a mild antiseptic and disinfectant, hydrogen peroxide can help heal gums and prevent inflammation. It is used as a mouthwash by mixing with water.
Desensitizing Toothpastes: They contain compounds like potassium nitrate, which blocks pain signals from the nerve in the teeth reaching the brain. They also contain other compounds that can shield nerve endings from irritants.
Turmeric: It has very strong anti-inflammatory effects. Applying it directly to the gums and teeth twice a day can reduce inflammation and help with the pain.
Professional Dental Procedures
Dental Bonding – Under this process, the dentist applies dental resin to the teeth. This resin will fuse with the natural enamel over time, protecting and restoring damaged teeth. With sensitive teeth, the resin can protect the dentin from extreme temperatures by blocking food and drinks from reaching it.
Fluoride Varnish – Here, a highly concentrated form of fluoride (usually a paste) is applied to the tooth surface. This can remineralize the tooth and help reduce cavities. The fluoride can also create a barrier between the exposed dentin and substances that can irritate it.
Root Canal – This is usually the last-ditch effort in treating sensitive teeth. The process is mainly performed to remove the infected pulp from teeth suffering from cavities. In cases of severe pain due to sensitive teeth, a root canal can be done to remove the affected part of the pulp. Since the pulp and exposed nerves are completely removed rather than just covered, root canals are the most effective way of treating sensitive teeth.
Following a Healthier Diet – Avoiding certain hot and cold food products like ice cream and coffee can help reduce the pain caused by sensitive teeth. Also, avoiding foods that erode the enamel, like soft drinks, can go a long way in ensuring sensitivity issues don’t occur in the first place.
Maintaining Proper Oral Hygiene – Brushing and flossing daily can eliminate the cavities that erode the enamel, preventing sensitivity issues with the teeth.
Avoiding Teeth Grinding – Constant teeth grinding can worsen enamel erosion, especially in the molars. If you find yourself constantly doing this or doing it in your sleep, consider using a mouth guard while sleeping.
These are the different ways in which sensitive teeth can be treated. For a lot of people, severe sensitivity can be debilitating and hamper daily life. At Every Smile, our team of professional dentists can identify the cause of your sensitivity issues and suggest solutions best suited for you. We offer a range of solutions for sensitivity, including dental bonding, root canals, mouth guards, etc. Contact us at (480) 504-6871 or schedule an appointment online.