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Woman experiencing tooth sensitivity to hot and cold

4 Options for Treating Tooth Sensitivity

If you’re someone who has sensitive teeth, you know that brushing, flossing, drinking, and eating can create sharp pains. This usually-temporary pain is unpleasant and makes such daily activities a challenge. The causes of sensitive teeth include worn tooth enamel, exposed tooth roots, recent whitening, a cavity, recent filling, or a cracked or chipped tooth.

When addressing your sensitive teeth, the first step is to visit your dentist to identify the cause and rule out any dental issues that require treatment. During your visit, your dental professional can recommend some treatment options, and as you try them, you’ll discover what works best for you.

Changing your toothbrush may help reduce tooth sensitivity

Brushing with desensitizing toothpaste helps block the pain of sensitive teeth after several applications so you can return to eating and drinking cold and hot foods without issue. Along with changing your toothpaste, you might need to change how you brush if you’re brushing too hard. Brushing too hard wears away tooth enamel, which leaves your teeth more exposed and sensitive to temperature changes. Overly-hard brushing can also wear away cementum, which protects the root of your tooth and isn’t as strong as enamel. Make sure you’re using a soft bristle brush and brushing for at least two minutes, but not too hard to damage teeth or gums. Brushing correctly is an important first step before you can proceed with any restorative treatment to reduce sensitivity.

Lessen how sensitive your teeth are to hot and cold with dental barriers

If changing your brushing doesn’t help reduce your tooth sensitivity, ask about painted-on barriers like fluoride varnish or plastic resins to desensitize your teeth. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and reduces sensitivity pain so your dentist might also advise using prescription fluoride a home. Bonding resin helps protect exposed root surfaces and reduces sensitivity.

A gum graft can help treat tooth sensitivity

The root of your tooth has a covering of gum tissue in a healthy mouth, but if you’re suffering from gum recession caused by hard brushing or gum disease, the root becomes exposed. An exposed root means that the cementum designed to protect is wearing away and this leads to sensitivity. To correct this issue, your dentist may perform a gum graft that takes tissue from a different part of your mouth and surgically attaches it to the exposed area. This procedure protects tooth roots and reduces sensitivity.

Sometimes, treating tooth sensitivity requires a root canal

When tooth sensitivity is especially severe, and other treatments haven’t helped, a root canal may be the best solution. Root canals treat and correct problems in the dental pulp or soft core of the tooth. This is a more involved treatment but highly successful at eliminating sensitivity.

Once you’re found ways to treat and minimize your teeth sensitivity successfully, it’s important to continue practicing good oral hygiene, including brushing twice a day, flossing, and using a fluoride toothpaste for the overall health of your mouth. To prevent further sensitivity, avoid brushing too hard, grinding your teeth, and limit your intake of acidic foods. Drinking milk and water helps balance acidity levels. Wait at least 20 minutes before brushing your teeth after consuming acidic substances because they soften tooth enamel, and if you brush too soon, you can be wearing away the protective covering on your teeth.

Contact Creative Dental to learn about the options we offer for treating and reversing your sensitive teeth issues.

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