SENSITIVE TEETH

 

Sensitive teeth feel sore when exposed to changes in temperature, as experienced when eating hot or cold foods and when breathing in air. Discomfort is felt through the teeth because the condition of the tooth is weak, causing nerves within the dental pulp to respond to these changes.

The tooth may twinge or suddenly have a passing ache. Tooth sensitivity can develop into full blown toothache and oral pain if the underlying causes of sensitive teeth are not treated by a dental professional.

 

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

  • Tooth sensitivity can result from a range of factors, including:
  • Worn tooth enamel from improper teeth brushing technique
  • Receding gums
  • Plaque and bacteria build-up damaging tooth structure
  • Highly acidic and sugary foods eroding tooth enamel
  • Unsafe teeth whitening or bleaching
  • Oral infection in dental structures or gum tissue
  • Oral or gum disease, such as gingivitis, periodontitis, caries and cancer
  • Teeth grinding habits or bruxism
  • Broken, chipped and cracked teeth

Diagnosis of Sensitive Teeth

 

Individuals suffering with tooth sensitivity can visit their dentist to find out why their teeth feel sore. When left untreated the cause of the tooth sensitivity can escalate and require emergency dental care.

 

However, individuals who attend dental check-ups can have their oral health monitored for signs of abnormal dental conditions. Diagnostic tests can include a physical examination of oral structures, X-rays and CT scans. If mouth cancer is suspected a biopsy may be necessary and will be further evaluated in a dental laboratory.

 

Where infection is present the dentist may conduct further diagnostic imaging tests to determine how far the infection has spread through the root canals and whether root canal treatment is necessary.

 

Treatments for Sensitive Teeth

 

The treatment a dentist recommends for sensitive teeth will depend on the diagnosis, underlying cause and the severity of the condition. The aim is to restore teeth to good health as soon as possible and preserve existing tooth structure.

 

Tooth sensitivity is a symptom and treatments may initially include the use of desensitising gel, fluoride desensitising mouth rinse and painkillers to stop tooth soreness. However, such treatment may be temporary while more permanent solutions are evaluated.

Treatments for the underlying causes of tooth sensitivity:

 

  • Removal of plaque and tartar through professional teeth cleaning
  • Dental filler to seal tooth cavities and fractures so that dentin and dental pulp is no longer exposed
  • Infection removal
  • Wearing a mouth guard to prevent further damage from teeth grinding
  • Crowns, caps, onlays and inlays to reinforce teeth
  • Orthodontic care where necessary
  • Replacing missing teeth with artificial prosthesis, such as dental implants, bridges and dentures
  • Oral hygiene and health guidance
  • Advice on diet and healthy living

 

Preventing Tooth Sensitivity

 

Tooth sensitivity can be prevented through eating a balanced diet, following a healthy lifestyle, maintaining oral hygiene, having only professional teeth whitening, attending dental check-ups, obtaining emergency care when oral trauma occurs and having any treatment needed to protect teeth and restore function.

 

Dentists provide advice on how to prevent tooth sensitivity. Seeking early screening and treatment is vital to prevent further oral trauma that may escalate tooth sensitivity, dental damage, toothache and tooth loss.

What are the causes of sensitive teeth?

  • Naturally thin enamel
  • Brushing your teeth too hard
  • Using a hard toothbrush
  • Teeth Grinding
  • Regular intake of acidic food and drinks

What triggers tooth sensitivity?

  • Hot food and drinks
  • Cold food and drinks
  • Cold air
  • Sweet or acidic foods
  • Cold water especially during dental treatment
  • Brushing and flossing teeth
  • Mouth rinses containing alcohol

Can you fix enamel loss?

Once enamel is worn down it cannot grow back. There are a few different treatments that might be suitable for someone with enamel erosion. Cosmetic bonding can be placed on the tooth as a protective layer. In more severe cases it might be a crown or veneer might be recommended if there is a further chance of tooth decay.

Can a dentist relieve sensitive teeth?

If a patient is suffering from sensitive teeth a dentist can apply a fluoride gel or a desensitizing gel to the areas that are most sensitive. This will help to protect the enamel of the tooth and reduce the discomfort the patient is experiencing. Further treatment such as fillings and crowns may be needed if the gels don’t help.

How do you stop Sensitive teeth?

  • A desensitizing toothpaste such as Sensodyne rapid relief
  • A soft toothbrush
  • Avoid or limit acidic food and drinks
  • Use a mouthwash containing fluoride
  • Get a nightguard of you grind your teeth

Get in touch now!

 

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    Smilehub Dental Clinic, Bayside Medical Centre, Bayside Shopping Centre, Sutton, Dublin 13