Tooth sensitivity occurs due to dentin exposure, resulting from loss of the enamel or due to gum recession. Certain acidic or sweet foods or change in temperatures may cause pain in the tooth. This pain normally subsides, after certain length of time. Dentins comprises of a large number of pores, running from outside of the tooth to nerves residing in the centre. Exposed dentin stimulates the sensitivity of these tubes to changes of temperature or specific foods.
With sensitive teeth, activities of eating, brushing, drinking and flossing may cause temporary sharp pain in the teeth. Sometimes, tooth sensitivity may be caused by other factors like chipped or cracked tooth, a cavity or side effects of procedure of teeth whitening or bleaching.
Various Treatments for Sensitive Teeth
When sensitivity is caused by a cavity, tooth restoration could be done and in case, a gum disease is the root cause, then dentist may perform a complete cleaning of the tooth area. If the cause remains exposure of dentin, then several desensitizing methods could be employed.
Fluoride varnish application can be performed to the sensitive portions of teeth to reduce pain by making dentin and tooth enamel stronger.
Fluoride gel or foam can be used by placing it in a mouth tray, then inserting the tray inside the mouth and keeping it there for around 5 minutes. This will strengthen the affected teeth areas on getting exposed to a high concentration of fluoride.
Make use of a low abrasion, desensitizing toothpaste that on several usages, help to block the pain linked to sensitive teeth.
Covering Root Surfaces
When gum recession is the cause of sensitive teeth, dentist recommends application of a sealant, to protect the exposed tooth roots from coming in contact with foods or change in temperature caused by eating hot or cold stuffs.
Root Canal Treatment
When rest all other treatment options fail, dentist might opt for a root canal procedure to treat problems of dental pulp, the soft core of the tooth and relieves one from underlying cause of sensitivity.
Soft Bristled Brush with High fluoride Content Toothpaste
Make use of soft bristled brush and toothpaste with high fluoride content, to strengthen the teeth and ensure oral hygiene, by brushing the teeth twice a day. Avoid harsh or vigorous scrubbing, use of highly abrasive compounds, excessive brushing and flossing.
Avoid Tooth Grinding
Refrain from bruxism (tooth grinding) that can lead to sensitivity or fracture teeth. Those who do it periodically should go for a mouth guard, after consultation with the dentist.
Limiting Acidic Food Products
Carbonated drinks, wine, yogurt and citrus fruits need to be restricted as these are of acidic nature that can remove tooth enamel. Drink acidic liquids with a straw to limit contact with teeth. After consumption of an acidic food, drink water to neutralize the acid levels of the mouth. It is better than brushing, soon after eating or drinking acid foods, because acid makes the tooth enamel soft and makes tooth more vulnerable to erosion on brushing.
Make use of Bonding Agent
Material known as bonding agent could be used to seal the dentin area, providing a barrier to the stimuli, causing tooth sensitivity. These bonding agents are usually used to stick color restorations to teeth.