Did you know that around 40 million Americans have sensitive teeth? This unfortunately means that 40 million Americans experience sudden tooth pain when eating or drinking things that are cold, hot, or very sweet. Although this pain fades quickly once the stimuli has been removed, it can still cause them to avoid these foods or beverages that cause them pain. If you are one of those 40 million Americans, you probably understand this all too well.
If you are afflicted by having sensitive teeth, one thing you probably want to know is how to stop tooth sensitivity so that you can go back to enjoying all your favorite foods and beverages, regardless of temperature or sugar content. While it is possible to stop tooth sensitivity, how you go about it will depend on the cause of your sensitivity.
Because tooth sensitivity can be caused by a number of things, there is no one size fits all treatment. Therefore, it is essential to know what is causing the sensitivity before you can accurately treat it. The best way to determine the cause of tooth sensitivity is to schedule an appointment with your local dentist so they can perform an exam and get to the root of the problem.
Some possible causes of tooth sensitivity that your dentist may find include:
- Gum Disease
- Exposed tooth root
- Worn fillings
- Worn tooth enamel
- Broken Teeth
Some possible ways to stop tooth sensitivity include:
If your tooth sensitivity is caused by a cavity, the best way to resolve the problem is to have the cavity filled. This is because cavities are basically holes in your teeth that allow stimuli to enter the inside of your tooth and irritate the nerve. As long as you have an untreated cavity, it will continue to grow and your tooth sensitivity will get worse. Having a dental filling placed prevents the cavity from growing and relieves tooth sensitivity pain. To place a cavity, your dentist will first remove all the decayed tissue before filling the remaining cavity with composite resin or silver amalgam to effectively seal the tooth. If you have an old filling that has worn out, it may also be allowing stimuli to seep inside your tooth. In this case, the old filling will be removed and replaced with a new filling.
If your tooth sensitivity is the result of gum disease or exposed tooth roots, then a deep cleaning will likely be recommended. Gum disease happens when excess bacteria accumulate along the gum line. As gum disease progresses, it will eventually cause the gums to recede and expose the tooth roots. Since tooth roots are normally protected by the gums, they have less protective enamel and therefore are more likely to be affected by outside stimuli. To treat gum disease and encourage the gums to return to their original position, a deep cleaning will be used to remove excess bacteria from the gum pockets.
If you have tooth sensitivity because your teeth are chipped, cracked, broken, or excessively worn, repairing your teeth will stop sensitivity. Just like a cavity allows stimuli inside the tooth, damaged or worn teeth can allow the same thing. There are a few different restorative treatments your dentist may recommend to repair broken or worn teeth. The right treatment for you will depend upon the type and extent of damage.
Overall, there are various ways to stop tooth sensitivity. However, the key to stopping tooth sensitivity is centered around first identifying the cause of sensitivity and then treating that specific cause. In order to determine the cause of your sensitivity and receive the best restorative dental treatment to stop it, you should schedule an exam with your local dentist.
Dr. Stephen Clark graduated from Northwestern Dental School in 1969 and earned his California Dental License in 1970. During his over 50 years serving the Long Beach area, he has provided effective dental care to many citizens.