Now that winter has arrived in New Bern, NC, you may find yourself wincing in pain from the cold air touching your teeth. You may also experience a similar feeling when eating ice cream, drinking hot chocolate, or simply brushing your teeth. If this sounds like you, you may have sensitive teeth. Look no further for a solution to your problems… Dr. Stephen Hoard is here to help!
Common causes of sensitive teeth include:
- Tooth decay
- Fractured teeth
- Worn fillings
- Exposed tooth root
- Worn tooth enamel
In healthy teeth, a layer of very hard, mineralized material covers the crown of the tooth. Below the gum line, a layer of cementum covers the root. Dentin, which lies below both cementum and enamel, is much less dense than either of these materials and contains tubules that when exposed, allow hot and cold materials to reach the nerves in teeth. This contributes to feelings of hypersensitivity.
Treatment of hypersensitivity can be accomplished in a number of ways and diagnosis can be as simple as a visual examination or a radiograph. If you feel that you have sensitive teeth, please talk with Dr. Hoard about the potential treatment options listed below:
- Desensitizing toothpaste, such as Sensodyne. With several applications, this type of toothpaste can block dentinal tubules from allowing hot or cold substances to reach nerves in teeth.
- Fluoride gel that is applied in office can strengthen tooth enamel and reduce the risk of dentin exposure.
- Restorations, such as crowns or composite bonding can be used to replace decayed tooth structure.
- If sensitivity worsens over time and causes pain and discomfort, a root canal treatment may be necessary.
In addition to the afore-mentioned options, proper oral hygiene and a diet low in sugar and acid is crucial for preventing tooth sensitivity.