Having sensitive teeth is a common problem, and here at our dental office in Highland Park we want to help you achieve the best oral health to keep you comfortable and smiling!
What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
Most of the time, tooth sensitivity is caused by worn enamel or exposed root surfaces. The tooth structures under our enamel (called cementum and dentin) are porous and contain tubules that lead to the nerves of our teeth. When exposed to cold foods or beverages, cold air, or being touched, signals are sent to the nerves of our teeth resulting in the feeling of a “zing” of sensitivity.
Ways our enamel can be worn down exposing the underlying tooth structures includes brushing too hard (abrasion), clenching and grinding (attrition), and acidic foods and beverages (acid erosion).
Our root surfaces become exposed when our gums recede. Receding gums (gingival recession) can be caused by a number of things including gum disease (periodontal disease), clenching and grinding, the way our muscles attach our lips and cheeks to our gums, and the aging process.
Sometimes sensitivity can be caused by cavities, cracks, or fractures in our teeth. Typically teeth with these conditions are sensitive to more things like hot and cold temperatures, biting, chewing, or pain without stimulus. If this is the cause of your sensitivity, we can restore your teeth here at Highgrove Dental Care with fillings, crowns, veneers, and other restorative procedures.
Ways to Treat Sensitivity
- Use toothpastes designed to reduce and prevent sensitivity (Sensodyne, Crest Gum and Sensitivity, etc.)
- Use an electric, soft bristled, or extra-soft bristled toothbrush to prevent more recession and wear
- Have fluoride varnish placed on your teeth at your cleaning appointments to reduce sensitivity
- Ask Dr. O’Neill, Dr. Hoverson, or your dental hygienist here at Highgrove Dental Care in St. Paul about other products we offer to help reduce and prevent sensitivity
Ways to Prevent Sensitivity
- Use an electric, soft bristled, or extra-soft bristled toothbrush to keep your gums healthy and prevent abrasion
- Avoid or limit your exposure time to acidic and sugary foods and drinks to prevent erosion
- Wear a night guard (occlusal guard) if you clench or grind your teeth to prevent wearing away your enamel
- Use products containing fluoride to keep your enamel strong (toothpaste, mouthrinse, tap water)