Do you regretfully pass by your local ice cream shop, even though butter pecan is your favorite? Do you let your morning coffee cool for an hour before daring to take a sip? If extreme hot or cold foods put you on edge, it might be time to talk with your dentist. It’s time to learn what you can do about sensitive teeth.
What causes tooth sensitivity?
There are several reasons your teeth may be more sensitive than most.
Shrinking gums caused by aging
One sign of aging is that your gums begin to show signs of wear, and they pull away from your teeth. As the gums pull away, your sensitive roots are exposed. If extreme hot or cold foods or drinks come in contact with the roots, you will be sure to feel it.
If your gums are severely receding from the teeth, you may need to have a gum graft. Much like a skin graft, during a gum graft procedure, tissue from somewhere else is placed over a bare area.
Shrinking gums caused by disease
Plaque and the buildup of tartar can cause your gums to recede as well. To keep this from happening, make sure you visit your dentist regularly for cleanings, brush your teeth often, and do not smoke.
If your gums show a significant sign of disease, your dentist may recommend medication or surgery to fix the problem.
If you have a cracked tooth, you will be more likely to be sensitive to cold foods and drinks. This is because some cracks go all the way down to the root.
If the crack extends below your gum line, you may have to have the tooth pulled.
Cavities or a damaged filling
Perhaps all you need to rid yourself of the pain associated with sensitive teeth is to have your cavities filled.
Filling the holes in your tooth’s enamel will keep food and liquid from touching the most sensitive portions of your inner tooth.
If you grind your teeth at night or during stressful moments of the day, you could be wearing away the enamel on your teeth.
Your dentist may recommend that you wear a mouth guard to help address the situation.
Other possible treatment
There are other less evasive treatments for sensitive teeth.
Change your toothpaste
Ask your dentist for a recommendation on which toothpaste you should be using. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth is a bit more expensive than other formulas, but it works well in many cases. Your dentist may also recommend desensitizing pastes to be used on your teeth.
Ask your dentist about sealants
Another treatment option for sensitive teeth is to have sealants applied to the surface of the tooth. This may cause the tooth to be less susceptible to extreme temperatures.
It could be that your teeth sensitivity is caused by your quest for white teeth. If that’s the case, you may have to choose between white teeth and ice cream.
Like all issues with your teeth, don’t try to diagnose and treat your symptoms on your own.
Schedule an appointment with your regular dentist. Chances are, the pain is not going to go away on its own.
NYC Dental Office | Marina Liberchuk, DMD
19 West 34th Street, Suite 1209
New York, NY 10001