Your Sensitive Teeth and How to Help Them

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If you experience a short burst of pain when eating ice cream or drinking hot tea, or when you inhale a breath of cold air, you may have sensitive teeth.

Tooth sensitivity–also called root sensitivity, causes pain when you eat or drink something that is hot, cold, sticky and sugary or acidic, or even from inhaling icy air by mouth. This can be caused by exposed dentin–the sensitive layer of the tooth beneath tooth enamel connecting to your nerves.

Dentin is the layer under the tooth’s enamel that has microscopic tubules filled with nerve endings. Your tooth enamel protects the dentin in the crown, and cementum protects the dentin that reaches beneath the crown to the roots. There is help available, however, so that you don’t have to feel pain every time you eat or drink something that is hot, cold, or sticky.

What Your Dentist Can Do:

Plaque and tartar build up can cause gum disease, which can make the gums recede and expose dentin. See one of our dentists twice a year to remove plaque and tartar, and possibly utilize one of the following options:

–Using composite resins, or white filling (bonding) to cover exposed root surfaces.
–Applying dentin sealers to exposed roots.
–Using fluoride varnish on exposed roots.

What You Can Do:

–Wear a night guard if you grind and clench your teeth while you sleep (also known as bruxism).
–Limit consumption of acidic foods and beverages such as soda, tea with lemon, eating citrus fruits, tomatoes or pickles, for example.
–Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Don’t forget to floss!
–Avoid abrasive toothpastes (such as those for tartar control).
–Brush your teeth with a desensitizing toothpaste to block off the nerve endings in exposed dentin. If it has fluoride in it this can strengthen enamel.
–Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash to fortify tooth enamel and reducing painful sensations.

Please let us know if you have any questions or would to schedule an appointment. Contact our team at Oxford Lakes Dental Care at 248-628-2540 today!


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