Do you have sensitive teeth? Today we’ll be going over a few treatments which may reduce your sensitivity. Having sensitive teeth can impact the way people enjoy food and live their daily lives. It can cause routine actions, such as brushing, eating, and drinking, to be uncomfortable or painful. Sensitive teeth typically stem from worn tooth enamel or exposed roots. Other sources of discomfort may include a cavity (or cavities), a cracked or chipped tooth, a worn filling, or even gum disease. Here are a few tooth sensitivity treatments that we can offer you when you visit us.
Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
Despite how durable tooth enamel is, it can erode by exposure to acids and wear and tear. Unfortunately, once your tooth enamel is gone, it is gone for good, and you should be aware of how enamel can erode:
- brushing your teeth way too hard/using a hard-bristled toothbrush
- using an abrasive toothpaste
- bleaching your teeth
- drinking copious amounts of soda (sodas have very high levels of phosphoric and citric acids)
- fruit drinks (some acids in fruit drinks are more erosive than battery acid)
- dry mouth or low salivary flow (xerostomia)
- a diet high in sugar and starches
- Acid reflux disease (GERD)
Applied topically to the teeth, it makes the tooth enamel more durable and harder to prevent sensitivity and tooth decay. This treatment can result in decreased pain to cold, brushing, and other daily activities. We encourage all patients to use fluoride toothpaste. For more severe tooth sensitivity cases, we may recommend a prescription toothpaste with a higher fluoride content to reduce your symptoms. Next time you visit, ask about our in-office fluoride treatments!
Toothpaste Designed With Sensitive Teeth in Mind
After a few applications, desensitizing toothpaste can sometimes block the pain that comes from having sensitive teeth. There is a variety of toothpaste that exists. Currently, we recommend our patients use either Arm and Hammer Sensitive or Sensodyne Pronamel. Both products have a low-abrasive rating and contain adequate amounts of fluoride and desensitizing medications to soothe your discomfort.
Root Canal Treatment
Are you in severe pain? Then, other treatments may not be as effective. In some instances, no matter what palliative treatments we provide, symptoms do not resolve. In these rare instances, a root canal may be the best solution. A root canal is a process that treats problems in the tooth’s soft core or dental pulp. Once completed, any pain or symptoms quickly resolve, and patients can continue their daily routines.
Gum Graft Surgery and Bonding
Most of us have experienced some extent of receding gums. As this process develops, over root surfaces become exposed. These exposed surfaces contain microscopic tunnels that lead to our nerves. When exposed to a stimulus, signals are sent to the nerve resulting in sensitivity or pain. Thankfully, exposed roots can be protected, and sensitivity reduced by a surgical graft. This process involves taking a small amount of gum tissue from elsewhere in your mouth and attaching it to the affected site. This protects the exposed roots and reduces pain. A small bonding can be placed over the exposed roots in more minor cases to alleviate symptoms quickly.
Wear A Nightguard
If your teeth are sensitive because of teeth grinding, we can make a model of your teeth that will help create a mouthguard you can wear at night. Mouthguards can protect your teeth from pressure and damage and can be highly effective at reducing the pain caused by sensitive teeth and jaw joint pains.
Tips for Sensitive Teeth
- Brush your teeth with a SOFT-bristled toothbrush
- Use sensitive toothpaste with fluoride and floss daily
- Use gentle vs. vigorous strokes when brushing your teeth
- Teeth grinding is a problem for you? Ask us about a mouthguard
- Limit intake of acidic foods and beverages
- Use a straw if you are going to drink acidic liquids
- Drink water after eating acidic food or beverages
Come to Smile Designs of Olney for All of Your Cosmetic Procedures
For your smile makeover or any other dental needs, come to Smile Designs of Olney! Book an appointment with us. Whether you want your teeth whitened, straightened, or restored altogether, we pride ourselves in quality patient care and giving you the smile makeover that you deserve. Our small, professional staff will make you feel right at home. We service the Montgomery County regions including Olney, Laytonsville, Brookville, Silver Spring, Rockville, Columbia, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, and Germantown, MD. Contact us at (301) 260-0700, visit us online, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.