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Treating Tooth Sensitivity: The Hot & Cold of It

Mature man at dentist making painful face

At Commercial Road Dental, we understand the concerns surrounding tooth sensitivity. Join us as we explore the causes, treatments, and preventive measures for this common issue. Whether you’ve experienced sensitivity for a while or have sudden discomfort, we’re here to help. Continue reading for effective treatments and gain insights into managing sensitive teeth and gums for a more comfortable life.

What Causes Sudden Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity can occur due to various factors, including:

  1. Tooth decay: Decay can wear away enamel, exposing sensitive areas of the tooth.
  1. Tooth fractures: Cracks or fractures can lead to sensitivity when the tooth structure is compromised.
  1. Gum recession: Receding gums expose tooth roots, which are more sensitive than the enamel-covered portion.
  1. Bruxism (teeth grinding): Grinding or clenching can wear down enamel and cause sensitivity.
  1. Dental procedures: Certain treatments, like teeth whitening or restorations, may temporarily increase sensitivity.
  1. Acidic foods and drinks: Regular consumption of acidic substances can erode enamel and trigger sensitivity.
  1. Aggressive brushing: Brushing too hard or with a stiff-bristled brush can wear down enamel and cause sensitivity.
  1. Dental trauma: Injuries to the teeth can damage their structure and result in sensitivity.

If you are suddenly experiencing persistent sensitive teeth, now is a good time to reach out and get to the root of the issue. Typically, but not always, sensitive teeth that cause significant discomfort is a symptom of a larger issue which is always better to get ahead of.

Concerning Signs for Sensitive Teeth:

So, how do we know if sensitive teeth are any cause for concern? While occasional sensitivity is common and usually harmless, certain signs indicate the need for professional dental care. Here are some indicators that suggest seeking dental attention for your sensitive teeth:

  1. Persistent or worsening sensitivity: If your tooth sensitivity continues or intensifies over time, it may signify an underlying dental issue that requires professional evaluation and treatment.
  1. Severe pain or discomfort: If your sensitive teeth cause severe pain or discomfort that affects your daily life, it’s crucial to schedule a dental appointment promptly. This level of sensitivity could be a sign of tooth decay, infection, or other dental problems that need immediate attention.
  1. Sudden onset of sensitivity: If you experience sudden sensitivity without an obvious cause, it’s wise to consult your dentist. This abrupt change may indicate an underlying dental condition that should be addressed.
  1. Accompanying symptoms: If your sensitive teeth are accompanied by symptoms like swollen gums, bleeding, tooth discoloration, or persistent bad breath, it could be indicative of gum disease or a tooth infection. These conditions require professional intervention to prevent further complications.
  1. Sensitivity after dental procedures: Temporary sensitivity following treatments like teeth whitening, fillings, or crown placements is normal. However, if the sensitivity persists or becomes severe, it’s essential to inform your dentist for further evaluation and adjustment.

Remember, prioritising your dental health is vital, and addressing sensitive teeth promptly can prevent more significant issues in the future. Your dentist is the best person to assess the situation, identify the underlying cause of your sensitivity, and provide appropriate treatment options to alleviate discomfort. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us and discuss your concerns for optimal oral health and peace of mind.

How Do You Fix Sensitive Teeth?

If you’re one of the many people who suffer from sensitive teeth, we have good news. There are several sensitive teeth treatment options available that can help to eliminate or reduce your sensitivity.

  • Fluoride treatment: Your dentist may recommend a fluoride treatment to strengthen your tooth enamel and reduce sensitivity, particularly if you suffer from enamel erosion or tooth decay.
  • Dental bonding: In some cases, your dentist may apply dental bonding or sealants to cover exposed tooth surfaces and protect them from sensitivity.
  • Surgical gum graft: If your sensitive teeth are caused by gum recession, you may require a gum graft to cover the exposed tooth roots and reduce sensitivity.

Dealing with Sensitive Teeth at Home

Although it is important to consult a dentist for accurate diagnosis and treatment of sensitive teeth, you can also try some at-home remedies to help alleviate the discomfort. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Switch to a desensitising toothpaste: Use a toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth. These toothpastes contain ingredients that help to reduce sensitivity over time. Brush your teeth with this toothpaste at least twice a day for best results.
  1. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush: Opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent further enamel erosion or gum irritation. Brush gently in a circular motion, focusing on each tooth individually.
  1. Avoid acidic and abrasive substances: Limit your consumption of acidic foods and drinks, such as citrus fruits, carbonated beverages, and acidic juices. Also, avoid abrasive toothpaste or aggressive brushing, as these can worsen sensitivity.
  1. Practise good oral hygiene: Maintain a regular oral hygiene routine by brushing twice a day and flossing daily. This helps to prevent gum disease and tooth decay, which can contribute to tooth sensitivity.
  1. Rinse with fluoride mouthwash: Use a fluoride mouthwash after brushing to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce sensitivity. Swish the mouthwash around your mouth for the recommended duration before spitting it out.
  1. Avoid teeth grinding: If you grind your teeth, especially during sleep, consider using a mouthguard to protect your teeth. This can help alleviate sensitivity caused by grinding.
  1. Limit whitening treatments: Avoid excessive use of whitening toothpaste or over-the-counter whitening products, as they can contribute to tooth sensitivity. Consult your dentist for safe and effective whitening options.
  1. Try desensitising treatments: Over-the-counter desensitising gels or varnishes can provide temporary relief for sensitive teeth. Apply these products as directed, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

It’s important to note that while these measures can help manage sensitivity, they may not address the underlying cause. If your tooth sensitivity persists or worsens despite home remedies, it’s recommended to consult a dentist for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Does Teeth Sensitivity go Away?

Sensitive teeth can be managed and often improved, but whether they completely go away depends on the underlying cause. In some cases, sensitivity may resolve on its own or with appropriate treatment, leading to a significant reduction or elimination of symptoms. However, in other situations, sensitivity may persist despite efforts to manage it.

Your dentist is the best person to speak to about your sensitive teeth – they can identify the cause, assess any underlying issues, and help you choose a sensitive teeth treatment that’s right for you.

If you’re concerned about sensitive teeth, make an appointment at Commercial Road Dental today!

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