woman holds her jaw in pain from tooth sensitivity

Understanding Tooth Sensitivity: Causes, Treatments & Prevention

Published September 21, 2023 6:32 pm

Tooth sensitivity, characterized by a sudden sharp pain or discomfort when consuming hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and drinks, is a common dental issue that affects many individuals. Though common, this sensation can significantly impact your quality of life. Understanding the causes, treatments and prevention strategies can help you manage tooth sensitivity effectively!

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity primarily occurs when the protective layer of enamel on the tooth’s surface wears down, exposing the underlying dentin. Several factors can contribute to this enamel erosion, including aggressive brushing, acidic foods, gum recession, recent dental treatments, and teeth grinding. Popular dental treatments like teeth whitening can also lead to temporary sensitivity.

Treatment Options for Tooth Sensitivity

Depending on the cause of your tooth sensitivity and dental history, one or more of the following tooth sensitivity solutions can help you manage the sensation!

Desensitizing Toothpaste

Specialized desensitizing toothpaste containing compounds like potassium nitrate or fluoride can help alleviate tooth sensitivity. These toothpastes work by blocking the nerve pathways that transmit pain signals.

Fluoride Treatments

Professional fluoride treatments can strengthen the enamel and reduce sensitivity.

Dental Bonding & Gum Grafting

In cases of more severe sensitivity, dental bonding can be used to seal exposed dentin and provide a barrier against external stimuli. A gum graft procedure can cover exposed root surfaces.

Preventing Tooth Sensitivity

Trying to prevent tooth sensitivity? Here are a few steps you can take:

Brush Gently

Using a soft-bristle toothbrush and adopting gentle brushing techniques to help prevent enamel wear.

Maintain a Balanced Diet

Limit the consumption of acidic foods and drinks and incorporate calcium-rich foods into your diet to promote stronger enamel.

Use a Mouthguard

If you grind your teeth at night, wearing a mouthguard can prevent enamel erosion and reduce sensitivity.

Maintain Oral Hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene practices, including regular flossing and proper brushing, can prevent gum disease and subsequent gum recession.

Don’t Suffer from Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity can be discomforting, but with professional knowledge and strategies, it’s manageable. If you experience persistent or severe sensitivity, our team at Altitude Family Dental is here to help. Don’t suffer from tooth sensitivity, give us a call today!

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