Sensitive Teeth: What Are the Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment?

You may have sensitive teeth if you experience sharp and temporary pain when brushing, flossing, or drinking hot or cold beverages. Sensitive teeth problem is usually a result of exposed tooth roots and worn teeth enamel. It may be chronic or temporary, which can affect one or more teeth. Sensitive teeth can be treated either by changing your oral routine or other treatments.

 Read on to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of sensitive teeth.

What Are the Causes of Sensitive Teeth?

Possible causes of sensitive teeth include:

  • Exposed tooth root
  • Tooth decay
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Fractured teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Worn fillings
  • Using a hard toothbrush or brushing your teeth too hard
  • Long-term use of mouthwash
  • Grinding or clenching your teeth
  • Acidic foods and beverages

What Are the Symptoms of Sensitive Teeth?

Certain triggers can make people with sensitive teeth experience discomfort or pain in the affected teeth. These triggers include:

  • Hot or cold foods and beverages
  • Brushing or flossing 
  • Cold air or water
  • Sugary foods and drinks
  • Alcohol-based mouth rinses

How Are Sensitive Teeth Diagnosed?

Visit your dentist as soon as you experience pain or discomfort due to the triggers mentioned above. They will examine your teeth for dental problems such as loose fillings, cavities, or recessed gums that cause sensitive teeth. They may recommend an X-ray to find out the root cause of your problem.

How Can Sensitive Teeth Be Treated?

The treatment for sensitive teeth varies depending on its cause, and your dentist may recommend cosmetic dentistry or any of the following:

1. Desensitizing Toothpaste - It contains compounds that can block the discomfort and pain associated with sensitive teeth. However, several applications are required until the sensitivity is reduced. Various desensitizing toothpaste are available. Your dentist will prescribe the one that is best suited for you.

 2. Fluoride Gel - During a dental visit, your dentist will apply a fluoride gel to the sensitive teeth to reduce pain and strengthen enamel. They may recommend a fluoride gel that can be used at home and applied via a custom tray.

 3. A Crown, Bonding, or Inlay - Your dentist will use any of these to correct a flaw or decay that resulted in sensitive teeth. Most of the dentists in Des Moines use sedation dentistry during the procedure to ensure you are comfortable and do not feel the pain.

4. Surgical Gum Graft - If your tooth root has lost gum tissue, a small amount of gum tissue is taken from elsewhere in your mouth and surgically attached to the affected area. This will prevent exposed tooth roots and reduce sensitivity.

5. Root Canal - This treatment is considered an effective technique to reduce sensitivity. Your dentist may recommend a root canal if the above treatment options or procedures cannot treat your sensitivity. The root canal is required to treat problems in the dental pulp that cause sensitivity.

You can prevent sensitivity by practicing good oral habits such as brushing and flossing twice a day, limiting the intake of sugary and acidic foods and beverages, and scheduling an appointment with your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. Bad tooth decay can harm your jaws too, so some of the dentists can also recommend dental implants or dentures

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