Having sensitive teeth can disrupt your day-to-day life and cause discomfort during many activities. For some, sensitivity is only an issue when exposed to extreme cold, such as eating ice cream or enjoying an ice-cold drink, but for others, discomfort can occur when brushing, eating and drinking or even speaking.
This discomfort can evolve into pain over time and can be a sign of a deeper problem so shouldn’t be ignored. Treatment for teeth sensitivity depends on the cause, and it’s always best to visit your dentist to address this discomfort and to identify the reason why it is occurring. Common causes include cavities, chipped surfaces, worn enamel and exposed roots. It can also be caused by gum disease, so you must seek advice swiftly.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options available to help and reduce tooth sensitivity, and once you’ve visited your dentist and ruled out any serious ailments, they may recommend some of the following:
Specialised oral products
One of the most affordable options is to purchase desensitising tooth products, such as toothpaste and mouthwashes. These can be found in supermarkets, chemists and directly from your dentist, with many options available. They are specifically created to reduce the severity of sensitivity in your mouth and help to block any tooth pain and commonly have added fluoride to help strengthen the teeth and offer a longer-term solution. For comfort whilst using these products, brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid scrubbing the delicate tooth surface.
For a higher strength treatment, your dentist can apply fluoride directly to the problem area. Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, strengthens the teeth and creates a natural buried against sensation and temperature changes that could trigger your tooth pain. Often, this is applied using a special fluoride paste and tray within the practice.
If your pain is being caused by an exposed root or nerve, a bonding resin can be used to create an outer layer, covering and protecting the area. This bonding resin is created to match your current tooth’s shade and cure until it is hard and firmly attached to the tooth, so it won’t make any visual difference to your smile. It will, however, offer an instant and long-lasting resolution to sensitivity and pain. Depending on the severity of your sensitivity, your dentist may recommend a local anaesthetic to keep you comfortable during the procedure.
If you’re suffering with severe pain and other treatment options are not helping, your dentist may opt to remove the tooth entirely – a treatment known as a root canal procedure. Using local anaesthesia to keep you relaxed and pain-free, the problem tooth is extracted and once healed, should completely remove the sensitivity. Sadly, this permanent solution is only helpful to those suffering with sensitivity in a small number of teeth – unless the patient is happy to lose a larger number of their teeth, as some are. Post extraction, there are many options to replace the teeth and fill the gaps, from dentures to implants, so you won’t have to live without the tooth if you don’t want to.
It’s best to try and prevent sensitivity, to begin with, by keeping up good tooth brushing habits and taking care of your oral hygiene. Avoiding carbonated or acidic drinks, cutting down on your sugar intake and attending a dental exam at least twice a year can help to keep the enamel of your teeth strong and healthy, reducing the chances of sensitivity and further issues such as cavities and tooth chipping.
If you’re experiencing sensitivity and want to find the cause and what treatment suits you best, get in touch with your local Oradent Dental Care practice today. Our dedicated Treatment Coordinators can advise you of the in-practice options and book you a dental exam, with a friendly dentist, that fits around your busy schedule.