When many people think of mouth pain, they think of toothaches caused by cavities and injuries. But there’s another type of discomfort that around one-in-eight Americans experiences: tooth sensitivity. Having sensitive teeth can make it difficult to enjoy certain types of food and beverages, and in severe cases, sufferers can’t eat or drink anything without experiencing severe discomfort.

Tooth sensitivity often starts out as a mild problem, but it can become worse over time. Thankfully, there are ways to stop it from progressing and even reverse it. These treatments are highly effective and can make a big change in quality of life for people who suffer from tooth sensitivity, and some can be done at home while others require the help of a dentist.

Dietary Changes
Many people with sensitive teeth only experience discomfort when eating certain foods or drinking certain beverages. These people can often successfully treat their sensitive teeth simply by making a few dietary changes. Avoiding acidic foods and drinks, candy, and alcohol can both reduce discomfort and slow down or stop damage that increases tooth sensitivity over time.

Gentler Brushing
When you want to clean something, you need to use a little “elbow grease.” But that’s not the case when it comes to brushing your teeth! Tightly gripping your toothbrush and brushing with force doesn’t clean your teeth and gums any better, and in fact, it can severely damage them, resulting in gum recession and increased sensitivity. Use a lighter grip when brushing or switch to an electric toothbrush and let the vibrations do the work for you.

Desensitizing Agents
Teeth can be desensitized using a variety of chemicals and agents that work to protect them from food and drink that cause reactions. These agents often contain fluoride and other protective substances that create barriers between enamel and the things that patients eat and drink. Getting these agents applied is a very fast process and can provide long-lasting effects for people with mild to moderate sensitivity.

One of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity is undiagnosed and untreated tooth decay. When cavities form, substances that cause sensitivity are able to more easily reach the nerves inside and around teeth. Fillings not only plug these gaps, but they also further reinforce teeth and reduce the “spread” of tooth decay. That means less chance of sensitivity developing in the future.

When a tooth is severely decayed or damaged, a traditional filling may not be able to properly reinforce and strengthen it. Placing a crown over a damaged tooth seals and reinforces it, and when installed properly, it also protects the nerves from anything that can cause sensitivity.

Root Canal
Sometimes sensitive teeth don’t respond to other treatments. This often happens when both a tooth and the surrounding gums are damage or exposed to food and drink. Root canals can treat the problem of sensitivity directly at the source—the soft core (dental pulp) of the affected tooth where the nerves are located.

We Treat Tooth Sensitivity and Other Common Oral Health Problems

It’s easy to take oral health for granted, but anyone who has experienced toothaches and tooth sensitivity knows how uncomfortable it can be. If you suffer from sensitivity or other oral health issues, we want to help.

At 101st Adult Dentistry, we’ve successfully helped countless patients overcome a wide variety of tooth and gum-related problems, and we’ve helped even more prevent problems from occurring in the first place through cleanings, checkups, and preventive care.

Request a dental appointment today and take the first step towards protecting your teeth and gums for years to come.