Most know the telltale symptom of tooth sensitivity: wincing at hot or cold temperatures or highly acidic or sweetened foods and drinks. Tooth sensitivity affects some 40 million adults and is a most common complaint during a dental visit.
The tissue under our enamel is called dentin, and tiny tubes inside that dentin are exposed as our enamel is worn away in many different ways.
Some of the biggest culprits are acidic foods/drink consumed excessively, aggressive tooth brushing, grinding teeth, and a cracked tooth or filling. Because the root reason for your sensitivity could be something like a crack in a tooth or filling, it is important to consult with your dentist, as they'll be able to identify the cause and fix it accordingly.
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Being able to describe your discomfort is important in finding the underlying cause. Sensitivity can mean something different to a dental professional, so be thorough in your description. It is generally described as pain that is short and sharp and usually starts with exposure to hot or cold foods or even cold air.
Let the dentist know the timing of pain onset and what, if anything, you have done to alleviate pain, and whether it helped. The more information, the more quickly an answer and resolution to your pain can be found.
What Can Be Done?
There are desensitizing treatments that can be administered, both in-office and at home. A stannous fluoride gel or OTC desensitizing toothpaste may be prescribed. These work by blocking the transmission of sensation between the tooth and nerve.
The paste may also be massaged into your gums after brushing. Using these products may take up to a month before therapeutic benefits are noticed. You may also be advised to limit your exposure to irritating substances.
If you suffer with tooth sensitivity, call us today to get a diagnostic evaluation and relief for your teeth!
The first step to a healthy beautiful smile is to schedule an appointment.