Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
If it is only one tooth, then the cause of sensitivity may be a carie (cavity). Dental caries are areas of tooth enamel that are damaged. It could be a structural failure such as a cracked or chipped tooth as well. The damaged enamel permits temperature, acids and sweets to activate the nerve endings in the tooth and cause pain. If most or all teeth are sensitive, then the cause is likely thinning enamel or receding gums. Thinning enamel and exposed tooth roots due to gum recession can be caused by many factors such as diabetes, GERD or even bulimia. A visit to a dentist is necessary to determine the cause of tooth sensitivity in order to rule out serious issues.
Potassium Nitrate Toothpaste
The standard recommended treatment for dentin hypersensitivity is to brush daily with a toothpaste that contains potassium nitrate. Microtubules in thinning tooth enamel and at the roots of teeth exposed in receding gums are pathways to conduct temperature, acids and sugar into the tooth to irritate the nerve endings. Potassium nitrate plugs up the microscopic openings in the enamel with regular use to act as a sort of insulation to protect teeth from pain due to hypersensitivity. Most toothpastes that contain potassium nitrate advise only short term use. This is to get those experiencing sensitivity pain to visit a dental professional to rule out other causes of pain.
Fluoride, Dental Sealants and Bonding Agents
Oshawa dentist can apply prescription fluoride to sensitive teeth to help reduce pain. Patients may receive a prescription to use the fluoride at home. Specialty sealants can be applied to teeth to help achieve pain relief as well. If the roots are exposed to receding gums, dental bonding materials can be used to cover and protect the surfaces of the teeth where the enamel at the roots is thin. These treatments are only available through making an appointment with a dentist.
If the pain is not resolved through applying protective products and materials, a root canal to remove the hypersensitive nerve is an option. Also, for those who have receding gums, it is possible to graft new gum tissue to cover the exposed roots. These are last resort options as they are both invasive procedures that require altering teeth and tissues in the mouth. The first step to fixing dentin hypersensitivity is to avoid the things that cause the pain. If that is not possible, it is advisable to try the easiest fix first.