Ways to Send Sensitivity Packing
- Posted on: Aug 30 2017
At first glance, it may seem as though tooth sensitivity is no big deal. If your teeth become sensitive to hot and cold, though, you’ll quickly find out that this seemingly innocent and temporary condition can put a huge damper on your quality of life. Sensitive teeth may refuse to let you eat ice cream or fruit. They may require you to let that steaming cup of coffee cool down before you enjoy it if you even can. Finally, some people have to use lukewarm water to brush their teeth because sensitivity creates too much discomfort.
When we find out that a patient is struggling with sensitive teeth, we want to find out why. In mild cases, the use of toothpaste for sensitive teeth may bring some relief. However, this is not a reliable approach for all patients. For us to resolve the issue, we try to uncover the reason that the nerves of teeth have become so reactive. Usually, we find one of two things . . .
Gingivitis is the beginning of gum disease. It is a condition in which the uppermost layer of gum tissue has become irritated and weakened. It is important to treat gingivitis with excellent home care and also if gum recession has occurred, a deep cleaning. Periodontal care may involve scaling and root planing, a gentle procedure through which bacteria and debris are removed from pockets around a tooth or teeth. Antibiotic medication may also be inserted into pockets to aid in the healing process. When gum tissue strengthens around the tooth, nerves are less exposed and reactive, diminishing sensitivity, if not eliminating it altogether.
In recent years, we have seen a sharp increase in significant erosion of enamel. Common culprits of tooth erosion are acidic beverages like coffee and soda. Every sip washes teeth with acidic ingredients. The longer residue from acidic foods and beverages sits on teeth, the more erosion occurs. Without a strong outer layer of enamel, the nerves inside of each tooth feel every change in temperature. Ouch! We cannot grow enamel. What we can do is protect tooth structure. This may be accomplished with restorations such as dental crowns or veneers.
Tell your dentist about sensitivity. Together, we can pave a path back to comfort. Call Sullivan Dental at 225-635-4422.