How To Manage Your Sensitive Teeth
Having teeth that are sensitive can be a painful and uncomfortable. This dental condition affects millions of people and can be treated if the cause can be determined. It occurs when the protective enamel on your teeth becomes compromised, exposing the underlying dentin and nerve endings. Tooth sensitivity can be caused by several things including everyday activities like eating and drinking certain things to having a severe underlying dental problem. Dr. S. Jeremy Tu is a general dentist who can help treat your sensitive teeth in North Liberty, IA.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth
You will know you have sensitive teeth if you find it uncomfortable to eat or drink hot or cold beverage. Sometimes even breathing in cold air can trigger the pain. Even though this feeling is temporary and wears off quickly, it can cause a disturbance in your life. If you do experience severe sensitivity, then there is likely a serious underlying problem. In either case, it is important to figure out what is causing your tooth sensitivity and have it treated.
Enamel erosion is one of the leading causes of sensitive teeth. The outer layer of the tooth can wear down due to factors like acidic food and drinks or brushing your teeth too hard. When the enamel begins to thin out, the dentin layer is exposed. Dentin contains tiny nerve endings and when exposed, can lead to sensitivity.
Your gum tissue helps hold your teeth in place and protect your teeth roots. When the gum tissue begins to pull away from the teeth, this exposes the tooth’s sensitive roots. Gum recession can be caused by aggressive brushing, gum disease, and genetics.
Tooth decay or dental cavities will eat away at the outer layer of your teeth. This will penetrate the enamel and expose the inner layers of your teeth. Not only can the dentin layer be exposed leading to tooth sensitivity, but the decay allows bacteria to reach the pulp, leading to inflammation and pain.
Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can slowly wear down your tooth enamel and expose the dentin leading to sensitive teeth. This dental condition is often hard to diagnose since it occurs during your sleep. However your dentist will be able to see your worn down teeth during an exam.
Cracked or Damaged Teeth
If you have a damaged or cracked tooth, this will expose the dentin layer and the tooth’s sensitive inner chambers. If the crack extends into the pulp, this can cause severe pain and discomfort.
A common side effect of any type of teeth whitening product, over-the-counter or professional treatments, can lead to temporary tooth sensitivity. This occurs due to the chemical agents used to bleach the teeth.
Treating Sensitive Teeth in North Liberty, IA
Dr. S. Jeremy Tu can successfully treat your tooth sensitivity once he finds the root cause. The following is a list of treatments he will offer or recommend for sensitive teeth:
- Unfortunately, tooth enamel cannot simply grow back. Your dentist may recommend dental bonding or porcelain veneers to protect the outer layer of the tooth if your enamel erosion is severe. He may also recommend a fluoride treatment and desensitizing toothpaste. Avoiding acidic foods and using a soft-bristle toothbrush will help prevent further erosion.
- If you suffer from gum recession, there is often an underlying cause such as gum disease. You will need to undergo periodontal disease treatment and also treatment to fix your gum tissue. A gum graft can cover the exposed roots and reduce tooth sensitivity.
- Tooth decay can be treated in several ways depending on how severe the damage to the tooth is. A small tooth cavity will only require a dental filling while a larger filling may require an inlay or onlay. Severe decay may need a root canal or a dental crown to alleviate the pain and sensitivity.
- If you grind your teeth at night, wearing a night guard will protect your teeth from the damage it can cause. Your dentist may also need to use restorative dentistry treatments to fix any damage the tooth grinding may have caused.
- Treatment for cracked or damaged teeth depends on the severity. Minor cracks can often be repaired with dental bonding or a dental crown. More extensive damage may require a root canal or tooth extraction.
- Tooth sensitivity from teeth whitening is typically only temporary. However, you can use desensitizing toothpaste for a few days to help. Avoiding acidic foods and beverages will also help ease this side effect.
Schedule an Appointment for Sensitive Teeth in North Liberty, IA
Dr. S. Jeremy Tu with Design Dental can help you find the solution for your sensitive teeth in North Liberty, IA. Call (319) 284-4361 today to book your appointment or request an appointment online.