Navigating Tooth Sensitivity: Types & Management

Unexpected discomfort to sharp pain when consuming hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and drinks are symptoms of sensitive teeth. Though unpleasant, tooth sensitivity is treatable! By understanding the different types of tooth sensitivity and how to manage them, you can enjoy a sensitive-free smile and good oral health.

Types of Tooth Sensitivity

Symptoms of sensitive teeth can range from mild discomfort to large twinges of sharp pain. Some of the main types are caused by:

    Dentin Hypersensitivity

    Dentin hypersensitivity occurs when the protective layer of enamel on our teeth wears down, exposing the dentin underneath. The dentin contains tiny tubules that lead to the nerve of the tooth, making it more sensitive to external factors.

    Cracked Tooth Syndrome

    Cracked tooth syndrome occurs when there is a fracture or cracks in the tooth or crown, leading to discomfort when chewing or exposure to temperature changes. This requires restorative dental treatment to improve the sensitivity.

    Gum Recession

    Gum disease, or periodontal disease, can cause gum recession, exposing the tooth roots. Aggressive brushing and teeth clenching can also cause recession. Tooth roots are ultra-sensitive and exposure to air, food, or drinks can cause sensitivity.

    Tooth Erosion

    Dental erosion happens when the tooth enamel is eroded by acids, often found in citrus fruits and sodas. This is typically considered the start of tooth decay.

How to Manage Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity can seem impossible to control. However, it is possible to ease the pain of sensitivity. Fluoride varnish application or professional desensitizers can relieve some sensitivity. Sometimes tooth colored fillings to cover exposed root surfaces are needed. Managing tooth sensitivity is also possible by maintaining good oral hygiene habits.

Good oral hygiene habits include using a soft-bristle toothbrush, desensitizing toothpaste (give it two weeks to take effect) flossing daily, and using a fluoride mouthwash. Paying attention to your diet, like avoiding acidic and sugary foods, and attending regular dental checkups for professional cleanings and fluoride treatments can also help manage sensitivity.

Manage Sensitive Teeth in Monroe, WA

Sensitive teeth can arise from various causes, so it’s crucial to identify the root of the problem to manage it effectively. Following good oral hygiene practices and seeking professional dental care can reduce tooth sensitivity and ensure a healthy smile. If you experience persistent sensitivity, don’t hesitate to contact our dental office in Monroe, WA. Dr. Kim and our team can help you manage or resolve tooth sensitivity!


Image from Authority Dental under CC 2.0

August 18, 2023 8:00 am
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