Do you ever get the feeling of discomfort or pain in your teeth when consuming hot or cold foods and drinks such as tea or ice cream? The pain can be either a sudden, sharp pain that passes quickly or a dull, aching pain that progresses to your jaw and lasts for minutes or hours. If you answered yes, you may be suffering from teeth sensitivity.
It’s estimated that up to 50 per cent of the population experiences teeth sensitivity. However, despite being such a common dental issue, many people are unaware of the causes and treatment.
What causes sensitive teeth?
The most common cause of teeth sensitivity is usually a result of either exposed roots or exposed dentine. The dentine is the dense, bony, yellow tissue that’s underneath your tooth enamel. The hard enamel of your teeth protects the dentine so when your enamel is compromised, the dentine becomes exposed. Some causes of this are:
- a tooth cavity
- worn enamel
- exposed roots
- worn fillings
- teeth grinding
- gum disease, or
- cracked or chipped teeth.
How can you treat sensitive teeth?
Teeth sensitivity can be extremely painful, and cause problems for your overall dental health. The best way to treat this issue is by contacting your local dentist so that they can assess the problem, damage, and provide the appropriate treatment. Depending on the situation, your dentist might recommend some of the following treatments.
With regular use, desensitising toothpaste may help to block and prevent the pain caused by tooth sensitivity. Desensitising toothpaste can be found at your local supermarket or dental practice and your dentist can help you understand which product may work best for you.
Another treatment that your dentist may suggest is applying fluoride to sensitive areas of your teeth to strengthen your enamel. This treatment is often performed by your dentist in the clinic, however, they may also prescribe fluoride to apply at home using a customised tray.
Surgical gum graft
If your tooth has lost gum tissue, leaving your roots exposed, your dentist may suggest a gum graft. A gum graft is a surgical procedure that involves extracting a small section of gum tissue from one area of your mouth and then grafting the tissue to the exposed tooth or teeth.
Root canal therapy
If the nerve inside your tooth becomes injured, and the pain or sensitivity is severe, your dentist may recommend root canal therapy to save the tooth. In this procedure, your dentist will carefully clean and disinfect your root canals and then fill them with a rubber-based material. Root canal therapy is often the most successful technique for solving tooth sensitivity.
Book a consultation with your dentist
If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity or want more information about what causes sensitive teeth, contact the team at Gosford Family Dentist for professional advice and the best treatment plan for your situation.