Tooth Sensitivity, what causes it and how can you treat it?

One of the most common complaints we hear from patient about their teeth is that they are sensitive.  But are you just supposed to live with it or are there ways to help improve or even eliminate your sensitivity?

First, it is important to identify the cause of your sensitivity. Have you just whitened or are in the process of whitening your teeth? It is common that teeth are sensitive during and right after whitening; but have no fear, this sensitivity should quickly resolve once you are done whitening!

Have you noticed only one tooth seems to be affected and is sensitive when you eat sweets or drink something cold? This could be a sign of a cavity. Your dentist can fix you cavity and this should drastically improve the sensitivity you may have.

Unfortunately, for many people their teeth may just be sensitive and it’s not due to a cavity. Luckily there are several ways to alleviate this problem.

How can you fix your sensitivity?

1. See Your Dentist

Regular checkups are crucial to prevent sensitivity. This allows your dentist to check your teeth for any signs of a cavity or a problem with your gums that could lead to sensitivity.

2. Brush Your Teeth

Believe it or not, the best prevention for sensitivity is good oral hygiene. Brushing 2x/day with a soft bristle brush and flossing daily is your best preventative measure from sensitivity.

3. Desensitizing Toothpaste

Walking down the toothpaste isle at the store can be overwhelming. If your teeth are sensitive, you want to avoid any toothpastes that are harsh or too abrasive. Stay away from whitening toothpaste and instead grab Sensodyne, Crest Sensitivity or Colgate Sensitivity. These toothpastes are specially formulated to help improve any sensitivity problems you may have.

PRO TIP: AVOID Charcoal Toothpaste.

Charcoal toothpaste is a huge fad right now and while it seems like it would be a natural and good toothpaste, it is in fact very abrasive and can wear away the enamel on your teeth causing your teeth to become more yellow and more sensitive over time.

4. Avoid Acidic Foods

Many of the foods we eat daily are in fact very harsh on our teeth and can cause the enamel to wear away or become weak. Avoid soda, high sugar content drinks (including juices) and limit acidic fruits.  This includes lemon in your water.

5. Fluoride

If you have tried all of the previous steps and still have no relief, talk with your dentist about a fluoride varnish and prescription fluoride at home. Fluoride helps strengthen your teeth and decrease sensitivity.

6. Bonding or Gum Grafting

Sometimes, sensitivity is due to recession of your gums and now the root of your tooth is exposed.  This can be improved by either bonding a filling to cover up the root of your tooth or having a gum graft done. Both options will need to be discussed with your dentist to determine which is the best course of action.

7. Root Canal and Crown

Unfortunately, a small percentage of tooth sensitivity cannot be resolved with any of the above options. In this case your teeth may need more extensive treatment such as a root canal and crown to get rid of the nerve in your tooth that is causing the sensitivity.

Your Oral Health and Hygiene is Important to Us

Check out a few of our other blogs and keep your pearly whites healthy:

Preventing & Treating Tooth Sensitivity with Luff Dental 

Preventing cavities is our goal; however, we also want to keep you comfortable and out of pain! There are many options when treating sensitivity and you do not just have to live with the discomfort. Talk with your dentist and be sure to go in for regular 6-month checkups! We’re here to help you overcome oral health challenges and any other dental challenges you or your family may be experiencing.

Work with Dr. Luff and her team to find the most effective solution for your smile! We are always accepting new patients in the Lee’s Summit, MO and surrounding area who are ready to improve the health of their teeth, their confidence and smile! Please call Luff Dental at (816) 875-3391 to schedule your appointment.