If everyday things, like eating, drinking, or cleaning your smile are becoming uncomfortable, then it is probably time to contact your dental team about an assessment and treatment for dental sensitivity. Our Dallas dentists have put together this short overview of dental pain—how it develops, and what you can do about it.
How Does Dental Sensitivity Develop?
The most sensitive part of a tooth is the dental nerve. Nerves are housed in the core of the tooth, and they extend through the tooth roots into the jawbone tissue. The protective layers of a tooth—the dentin and especially the dental enamel—are designed to shield sensitive and vulnerable nerves from irritants and bacteria.
Unfortunately, sometimes these protective barriers are damaged or weakened over time. This may happen due to…
- Enamel thinning from acidic foods and beverages
- Enamel thinning due to conditions like bruxism
- Infected dental material
- Infected gum tissue
- Dental trauma that creates cracks or chips in the tooth’s surface.
The goal of treatment for sensitive teeth is to sooth aggravated nerves, and fortify the patient’s smile so that the patient’s nerves are adequately protected.
What Kinds Of Treatments Are Available?
Ameliorative care: swapping your standard oral hygiene products for ones that are designed for vulnerable and sensitive teeth can help to minimize discomfort. There are also oral health products on the market that sooth irritated nerves and tissues. Talk to our dental team about what kinds of toothpastes, mouth rinses, and topical formulations may be right for you.
Topical fluoride treatments: fluoride is derived from the natural element fluorine; it has been shown to help teeth remineralize. You are probably already using a toothpaste that contains fluoride, and in the United States, our drinking water is likewise enriched with fluoride. However, some patients additionally benefit from topical applications of a fluoride-rich solution. These can be completed in-office.
Dental bonding and restorations: for patients who are missing healthy tooth structure, dental bonding and porcelain restorations can applied to the natural tooth. Once these materials are cured, they stay in place permanently, essentially creating a new protective layer on the affected tooth.