Tooth sensitivity is a problem that plagues many Canadians. At Lorne Park Dental, we can help you ease the pain of your sensitive teeth.
Do you think twice about joining in with the children as they enjoy an ice cream cone on a hot summer day because you are afraid your teeth will hurt? Does the thought of drinking a hot cup of tea send up red flags?
If your answer is yes, you are not alone.
If you feel a twinge of pain when you eat or drink something cold or hot, or sweet or sour, you may have dentin hypersensitivity – which is another name for tooth sensitivity.
The pain may come and go over time, but that sharp, sudden jolt that goes right to the bottom of your nerve ending can be very uncomfortable. If your tooth sensitivity is causing considerable discomfort and affecting your ability to eat, please contact our office immediately for an assessment.
Why does a tooth become sensitive?
Teeth become sensitive when dentin, the soft part of the tooth, becomes exposed. Dentin has tubules of fluid that lead to nerves, and when they're exposed to extreme temperatures and tastes, the nerves are triggered to respond with a sharp jolt of pain.
Normally, gums and the hard enamel surface of the tooth protect the dentin. However, over time enamel can erode and gums can begin to recede.
Good oral health is important to preventing sensitive teeth. Regular cleaning visits with one of the Lorne Park Dental Hygienists will help you maintain good oral health.
During the checkup, your hygienist will assess your teeth, mouth, and gums. If there is a sign of erosion of the enamel or gum damage, they will advise you on techniques to prevent any further damage.
In between dental visits, be sure to maintain good healthy eating habits, and to brush and floss between meals to support good oral health.
Common Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
- Hard Brushing – aggressive and improper brushing can cause damage to the gums and wear down the enamel.
- Teeth Grinding – If you chronically clench or grind your teeth, this can cause damage. Grinding can happen during sleep when you are unaware that you are doing it. Your dentist will be able to tell if this is a problem for you and advise you of possible solutions. Sleep guards are available.
- Illness – Prolonged sickness, where regular teeth cleaning is difficult, can cause damage to the gums and enamel. Sicknesses such as Bulimia and Acid Reflux (GERD) that allow for acid to collect in the mouth for long periods of time are also a problem.
- Acidic Food and Beverages cause erosion of the enamel.
- Tooth Bleaching/Whitening Products
- Plaque – A build up of too much plaque on the tooth, usually near the gum line, can cause sensitivity. During your cleaning, the hygienist will remove this plaque with a technique called scaling.
What can be done about Tooth Sensitivity?
Clean your teeth with a soft bristle toothbrush, using gentle strokes and a proper technique, to reduce further damage. Specially formulated toothpaste is available at most drug stores to help reduce the pain of sensitivity.
For acute cases of tooth sensitivity, your dentist or hygienist may recommend applying fluoride varnish to the sensitive areas to strengthen the tooth, and applying a dental restoration to build up the area that has lost the enamel.
Always remember to book an appointment to consult with your dental professional here at Lorne Park Dental if you have problems with sensitive teeth. We can advise you on the best solution after doing a thorough assessment.
For More Information, download this PDF, or get in touch with Lorne Park Dental today.
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