Do I have to live with tooth sensitivity?

Do your teeth ache when you eat and drink cold or hot foods? Is enjoying a spoonful of ice cream or drinking hot coffee painful? These symptoms commonly coincide with tooth sensitivity – a dental condition that makes teeth more sensitive to extreme temperatures of food and beverages. Some folks encounter discomfort when brushing or flossing their teeth. The severity of tooth sensitivity can vary from dull, nagging discomfort to a sharp pain. Some patients may experience sensitivity more frequently than others. Like symptoms, the causes of sensitivity can vary, too. Fortunately, members of our community do not have to suffer with discomfort. Our dentist offers treatment for discomfort associated with sensitive teeth.

What causes sensitive teeth?

Many things can cause tooth sensitivity. Sometimes people develop sensitivity if they eat or drink acidic foods since acid breaks down tooth enamel, a protective coating around teeth. Brushing too vigorously can make teeth sensitive as well. In many cases, sensitivity coincides with gum disease—especially if the gums have receded and left the tooth’s roots exposed to bacteria and debris. Other cases of sensitivity are related to decayed or damaged teeth.

How is tooth sensitivity treated?

The way our team treats tooth sensitivity will depend on the underlying cause of the problem. For example, if gum disease and a receding gum line cause a patient’s sensitivity, treatment may involve a deep cleaning that removes infected gum tissue. Other patients may benefit from restorations such as a crown or endodontic therapy to repair a broken or badly diseased tooth. Sometimes, applying a sealant is the best course of action for someone who does not have signs of decay or gum disease.

There are steps patients can take to prevent tooth sensitivity such as avoiding brushing too vigorously and using toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth.

If you suffer with sensitive teeth, we invite you to visit our practice for a checkup where we can determine the cause of your discomfort. To schedule an examination or cleaning, contact the office of Dr. Hema K. Chapala at your convenience.

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