Sensitive teeth can be a real pain, making it difficult to enjoy your favorite hot or cold foods and beverages without experiencing discomfort. Tooth sensitivity, also known as dentin hypersensitivity, occurs when the protective layers of your teeth wear down, exposing the underlying dentin and nerve endings. This can lead to pain and discomfort when consuming hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and drinks.
Fortunately, there are several options available to help manage and alleviate sensitive teeth. So today, we will discuss the causes of sensitive teeth and explore various treatment options, including at-home remedies, dental products, and professional dental treatments. If you’re ready to get your teeth back in shape and your mouth free of pain, call Harmony Dental of Burbank.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth? Is It Always Cavities?
Understanding the causes of tooth sensitivity can help you take preventive measures and choose the right treatment options. Common causes of sensitive teeth include:
Tooth decay and cavities: When the enamel of a tooth is damaged, it can expose the underlying dentin, leading to sensitivity.
Gum recession: Gums can recede due to age, brushing too hard, or gum disease, exposing the tooth roots and causing sensitivity.
Enamel erosion: Consuming acidic foods and drinks, grinding your teeth, or using abrasive toothpaste can lead to enamel erosion, making your teeth more sensitive.
Fractured teeth or fillings: A cracked tooth or a broken filling can expose the dentin and lead to increased sensitivity.
Teeth grinding (bruxism): Grinding your teeth can cause the enamel to wear down, exposing the dentin and increasing sensitivity.
Options for Managing Sensitive Teeth At Home
If your teeth hurt, your best option is to go to the dentist to rule out the cause. But if you’re looking for some at-home ways to help with your dental care from home, check out some of these tips.
At Home Solutions
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush: This will help prevent further damage to your tooth enamel and gums.
Avoid acidic foods and drinks: Limit your intake of citrus fruits, carbonated beverages, and other acidic foods to protect your enamel.
Use a desensitizing toothpaste: These toothpastes contain ingredients that help block pain signals from the exposed dentin.
Try a fluoride mouthwash: Fluoride can help strengthen tooth enamel and reduce sensitivity.
Over-the-counter desensitizing gels or strips: These products can provide temporary relief by forming a protective barrier over the exposed dentin.
Custom-fitted mouthguards: If you grind your teeth at night, a custom-fitted mouthguard can help protect your teeth from further damage.
Professional Dental Treatments
Dental bonding: This treatment involves applying a tooth-colored resin material to the exposed root surfaces to protect them from sensitivity.
Fluoride varnish or gel: Your dentist can apply a high-concentration fluoride varnish or gel to help strengthen tooth enamel and reduce sensitivity.
Root canal treatment: If your tooth sensitivity is due to severe tooth decay or damage, a root canal may be necessary to remove the affected pulp and nerves, eliminating the sensitivity.
Surgical gum graft: If gum recession is causing your sensitivity, a gum graft can help cover the exposed tooth roots and reduce sensitivity.
Tooth sensitivity can be uncomfortable and disruptive, but there are several options available to help manage and alleviate the pain. By understanding the causes of sensitive teeth and exploring various at-home remedies, dental products, and professional treatments, you can find the right solution for your specific needs. Consult with Harmony Dental of Burbank to determine the best course of action for addressing your tooth sensitivity and maintaining good oral health.