Getting To The Root Of Painful Tooth Sensitivity

By: Gen Wright


If drinking a cold soda or sipping hot tea causes intense tooth pain, then you may suffer from a common condition known as tooth sensitivity. Also called dentin hypersensitivity, tooth sensitivity occurs when the dentin (the underlying layer of your teeth) or the root areas of the tooth are exposed. You may first notice tooth sensitivity when eating your favorite treat and you feel a sudden jolt of pain in one or more of your teeth.

Tooth sensitivity is not a pleasant feeling. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, nearly 45 million Americans experience tooth sensitivity. To treat sensitive teeth, a visit to your Carlsbad dentist may be a good place to start, especially if pain persists for more than a few days.

What's Causing Your Sensitivity?

So what caused the onset of your aggravating tooth sensitivity? Depending on the cause of the tooth sensitivity, treatment can be administered accordingly. Age is one major contributor, as the enamel (the hard outer surface layer of your teeth) naturally wears over time, exposing the dentin which triggers sensitivity. Other common factors that prompt sensitive teeth include:

* Receding gums that expose the tooth's roots
* Acidic foods and drinks, such as sodas and energy drinks
* Tooth grinding
* Brushing teeth too hard, which wears away the enamel layer
* Teeth whitening treatments or restorations
* Gum disease or nerve damage
* Cavities or fractured teeth
* Poor oral hygiene

Pain Relief for Sensitive Teeth

In some cases, brushing with desensitizing toothpaste is enough to relieve your pain. These toothpastes contain compounds that block the sensation that may stimulate pain or discomfort in the tooth's nerve. Ask your dentist which toothpaste may work best for you. You should also avoid brushing too harshly and always use a soft-bristled brush as it is not so abrasive against your teeth.

If at-home remedies do not ease your discomfort, your Carlsbad dentist may suggest in-office treatments, such as a fluoride treatment or fillings, crowns or bonding to correct any dental issues resulting in sensitivity.

Prevent Tooth Sensitivity

In order to reduce your chances of developing sensitivity to your teeth, it is commonly advised that you maintain a proper level of oral hygiene. Most dentists may recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes in addition to flossing and using mouthwash. It also helps to ease acidic foods and sugary snacks and drinks. Ignoring any sensitivity issues can lead to many more oral health issues.

Enjoy your favorite ice cream or coffee drink again without wincing in pain. Visit your dentist in Carlsbad if you experience tooth sensitivity that doesn't go away. Your dentist can provide a more detailed diagnosis, identify the exact cause of your tooth sensitivity and recommend the best course of treatment.

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Dr. Scott Peters, dentist in Carlsbad, follows in his fathers footsteps of being a dentist, by taking over the family business. With over 25 years of experience as a family and cosmetic dentist, Dr. Peters shows his commitment to providing the best in quality dental care through offering procedures such as implants, tooth whitening and veneers in Carlsbad.

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