What is tooth sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is a condition where you're drinking or eating something cold or hot, and you have a sensation that "doesn't feel right". You may have some discomfort when you're eating or drinking something, especially certain specific foods or beverages.
Who suffers from tooth sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is a very common issue and can affect people of all ages, ethnicities, or overall levels of health.
Tooth sensitivity symptoms
Tooth sensitivity is pretty immediate when you're experiencing it. For example, you might be drinking a Coke or another cold beverage, and you have that immediate discomfort and cannot drink on that side. Or if you're eating something and you cannot chew on one side due to discomfort. So if you find yourself consistently eating on one side of your mouth instead of the other, you most likely have an issue with tooth sensitivity.
Causes of tooth sensitivity
There are many potential causes of tooth sensitivity, including:
- Restorations or fillings that are not sealed properly
- Missing enamel on the outside of the tooth, called "exposed dentin"
- Infection, such as in a restoration that is leaking or fractured
- Fillings that are incompletely sealed, or physically higher than the surrounding teeth
- Root canal issues – if a root canal has been done on a tooth and you still have sensitivity, then we should look at the tooth and see if the root canal is leaking or needs to be re-done
Treatments for tooth sensitivity
There are many different ways to address tooth sensitivity. Home remedies can work for a short period of time, but it's best that you come in and see us as soon as possible.
On your own:
- Desensitizing toothpaste can help temporarily relieve sensitivity
- Using a softer toothbrush
- Avoiding chewing on hard or cold foods such as ice
In our office, the treatment for your sensitive teeth depends on your exact situation.
- If you have exposed dentin, we can cover it with a filling to protect the dentin
- If your pain is due to a surface-level cavity, this can be treated with a restoration or filling
- If your pain is due to a cavity which has reached into the inner pulp of the tooth, this will require a root canal
Should I see my dentist for sensitive teeth?
Yes, sensitivity in your teeth can be a sign of a significant dental issue, and it's best to come in and have this looked at as soon as possible, as small dental problems can become worse over time if not treated.
If you have sensitive teeth and would like to learn more about how we can help, please schedule an appointment today. We’re always here for you!