Sensitive teeth: What treatments are available?
Some of the treatments that are available to treat sensitive teeth include fluoride, desensitising toothpaste, and dental treatments such as fillings or veneers.
However, the treatment you receive to reduce sensitivity may vary from patient to patient based on your underlying oral issue.
For this reason, our team has outlined what causes teeth sensitivity and provided remedies you can use to enhance your dental health.
Causes of tooth sensitivity
Sensitivity within your teeth may occur when your enamel is weakened or damaged.
When the protective layer on your teeth (the enamel) is damaged, it exposes the softer part underneath your tooth called the dentine. Research suggests, your dentine contains small tubes within it that lead to your nerves. Therefore, you may receive an instant, sharp pain when you:
- Consume hot, sweet, or cold food and drinks
- Brush your teeth
However, the root cause of the sensitivity may not be what you are doing but what state your oral health is in.
For the most part, you may experience sensitivity when you have oral conditions such as:
- Tooth decay
- A gum recession
- A chipped or damaged tooth
- Damaged gum tissue
Remedies for sensitive teeth
If you have sensitive teeth, there are several remedies you may use to reduce pain and sensitivity within your teeth.
Fluoride gels are applied to your teeth by your dentist to treat tooth decay within children and adolescence. Over time, fluoride may help to strengthen your enamel when it is applied regularly or at your routine dental check-up. However, fluoride is an optional treatment and you should let your dentist know if you do not want it.
Sealants are a safe method and painless method used by your dentist to fill the small gaps or fissures on your teeth. For this treatment, your dentist will apply a liquid composite on your teeth which is then hardened using a special dental light. By doing this, the sealant will seal your tooth off from bad bacteria and eliminate the risk of tooth decay.
Soft bristled toothbrush
If your teeth or gums are damaged, it may be best to limit the amount of force on them when you brush by using a soft bristled toothbrush. This will ensure you are still cleaning your teeth properly while reducing the pressure on the affected area of your tooth.
In addition to brushing your teeth, flossing may help to remove the food left within the gaps of your teeth. Food that is not removed can lead to the formation of plaque and eventually tooth decay. Therefore, flossing may play a key role in reducing the sensitivity within your teeth.
Desensitising toothpastes may be a solution for you to treat sensitivity short term. The toothpaste may help to block the tiny tubes within your tooth structure that lead to your nerves and eliminate the pain. Furthermore, these types of toothpastes can be brought over the counter at your local supermarket, chemist or online.
Can tooth sensitivity be treated permanently?
From a dentist perspective, you should visit your dentist to allow them to identify and treat the issue causing the discomfort within your teeth. By doing this, he or she may be able to provide you with a short and long-term solution.
For example, if your teeth are cracked or chipped your dentist may advise you to undergo a veneer or crown restoration to repair the tooth. If you have tooth decay, your dentist may recommend a dental filling to cover up the exposed area.
Furthermore, you may also wish to seek out a fluoride treatment or desensitising toothpastes as they are easily accessible. Your dentist may administer fluoride to your teeth during your regular check-up or you can purchase over the counter toothpastes for regular use at home. Alternatively, you can ask your dentist for a sample at your next visit!
Best toothpaste for sensitive teeth
There are many special toothpastes for sensitive teeth, however it may not necessarily be what brand you use but what ingredients it contains.
The best toothpastes for sensitive teeth might contain:
Once applied, the potassium nitrate helps to block the tiny tubes within your dentine that lead to your nerve. By blocking the nerves within your teeth, you may prevent it from transmitting signals to your brain. Therefore, the nitrate eliminates the nerves contact with products such as soft drinks and coffee so that you endure less pain and tooth sensitivity.
Fluoride is a mineral which may help to strengthen your teeth and prevent tooth decay. Once your enamel is damaged or exposed, fluoride may help to protect it by building a protective barrier on the surface of your teeth.
Furthermore, fluoride may also used in your local water supply to enhance your community’s oral health.
Tooth sensitivity after whitening
Sensitivity during a teeth whitening treatment may be caused by the hydrogen peroxide bleaching agent. During the treatment, your teeth may be vulnerable when the bleach is applied to your teeth as it temporarily exposes the dentin and your nerves.
Depending on your oral condition, your teeth may be at a higher risk after whitening. Especially if you consume hot or cold drinks following your treatment.
If you undergo an in-chair whitening treatment with your dentist, your aftercare pack may also include a sample of sensitive toothpaste.
Furthermore, there are also some risks of DIY whitening where your gums can get injured. This is largely due to your gums coming into contact with the whitening gel. Therefore, you should take extra care when applying the gel and the DIY appliance in your mouth.
Treat sensitive teeth at Coastal Dental Care
At Coastal Dental Care, our practices may use a variety remedies to treat your sensitive teeth during a treatment. Some of the products commonly used within our dental clinics are:
- Tooth mousse (for children)
- Tooth mousse Plus (for adults at high risk of decay)
- Oraqix (administered into the pockets below your gum line before a scale and clean)
- Local anaesthesia
If you are looking to treat sensitive teeth, you should first consult with your dentist. Your dentist may be able to identify any underlying oral issues causing your pain. Furthermore, they may be able to provide you with a treatment plan or solution.
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