Little compares with the shooting pain of tooth sensitivity, and chances are high that you’ll endure it at some point. Research shows that an estimated one in eight people has especially sensitive teeth, and many people experience temporary sensitivity when particular dental issues are at play. Without treatment, these symptoms can worsen over time and make everything from drinking coffee to eating spicy foods unpleasant.
Dr. Shiva Salehi and her team at Madison Family Dental Group are pleased to diagnose and treat tooth sensitivity so you can live, and eat, more comfortably. Read on to learn more about this common condition and ways to minimize it.
The root of the problem
Tooth sensitivity happens when the dentin of the insides of your teeth, which is connected to pain-related nerves, becomes exposed. Thousands of tiny channels in the dentin connect to each tooth’s inner most part, the pulp. So when the dentin is exposed, those sharp pains can easily arise.
A range of factors can contribute to tooth sensitivity, leading you to wince when you drink a cold beverage or especially hot, acidic, or sweet foods. Symptoms often crop up gradually, but in some cases, they may seem rather sudden. Things that may lead to or increase pain in sensitive teeth include:
- Acidic foods
- Being 25-30 years old
- Brushing harshly with a hard toothbrush
- Certain dental procedures, such as having a cavity filled
- Cracked or chipped teeth
- Leaky or worn-down fillings
- Gum recession
- Gum disease
- Plaque buildup
- Overuse of certain types of mouthwash
- Teeth grinding
- Tooth whitening products
- Worn tooth enamel, from issues such as gastrointestinal reflux disease or bulimia
What to do about tooth sensitivity
If you’re struggling with tooth sensitivity, Dr. Salehi will recommend treatment based on the specific cause. If she determines that you have an issue, such as a cavity, she’ll recommend a filling to do away with your symptoms as well as other complications of tooth decay. For tooth sensitivity caused by receding gums, she may suggest a gum graft. If you grind your teeth at night, you may benefit from a mouthguard.
Options for symptoms unrelated to an underlying dental condition may include an in-office fluoride gel treatment or prescription toothpaste, and shifting your brushing or mouthwash habits. And for especially severe cases, a last resort may involve a root canal. By removing the pulp from the sensitive tooth through this procedure, you’ll eliminate any potential for sensitivity.
To learn more about tooth sensitivity or get the care you need, call Madison Family Dental Group or request an appointment with Dr. Salehi, DDS on our website today.