Tooth sensitivity can be a major inconvenience, and it can involve significant discomfort. Dental hypersensitivity typically occurs when your tooth enamel starts to wear away. It can also develop if your gums have started to recede, exposing your tooth roots. Fortunately, even if you suffer from severe tooth sensitivity, we can provide effective treatment at Value Dental Centers in Goodyear, AZ. Of course, because there are so many factors that can contribute to sensitivity, treatment will be different for each patient. After evaluating your oral health, we may suggest anti-sensitivity gel, a bruxism night guard, dietary changes, or several other treatments. We will also follow up with you to ensure complete and lasting relief.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
In most cases, tooth sensitivity will develop because of dental erosion. Your teeth have a hard protective layer of enamel. As this layer starts to wear away, it will expose the softer layer of dentin below. Dentin contains tiny openings called tubules, and each of these tubules holds small nerve endings. As the nerves are exposed, dental hypersensitivity will develop.
There are several things that can lead to enamel erosion. Causes include:
- Bruxism: Chronic teeth grinding will put a lot of pressure on your teeth, and the constant friction will seriously damage your enamel.
- Diet: Highly acidic food and drink can erode your teeth. These products include citrus, sodas, and coffee.
- Improper dental hygiene: If you brush too hard or use a brush with hard bristles, it can start to wear away your teeth. Sometimes, brushing too soon after meals can have an abrasive effect, since you could rub bits of food into your enamel.
- Other health conditions: If you suffer from acid reflux or bulimia, the constant exposure to stomach acid can erode your teeth.
Gum disease can also cause tooth sensitivity. When bacterial pockets form in your gums, they can cause the tissues to pull away from your teeth, exposing your roots. Resulting discomfort may be more severe than sensitivity due to dental erosion.
The Symptoms of Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is different for each patient. In many cases, pain can worsen when you are eating very cold foods or breathing cold air. Like some patients, you may suffer from lingering discomfort. In other situations, however, sensitivity may come and go. Often, this discomfort can be quite noticeable, and it can keep you from enjoying the foods you love.
Treatments for Dental Sensitivity
Before recommending treatment for your sensitivity, we will evaluate your oral health to diagnose the cause of your discomfort. Then we can choose a solution that is appropriate for you, usually beginning with the most conservative option. Treatments can include:
- Anti-sensitivity products: We may prescribe a special toothpaste or topical gel. Used according to instructions, these products can be quite effective.
- Bruxism night guards: A night guard will prevent your teeth from touching. A comfortable, custom-made device is typically the most effective way to treat bruxism.
- Dietary changes: We can help you alter your diet, cutting back on acidic foods to protect your dental enamel.
- Improved hygiene: Your dentist can also teach you healthier ways of brushing and caring for your teeth.
- Dental crowns: If you have severe dental erosion, crowns may be the most effective treatment option. Custom-made, naturally colored crowns will fully cover your teeth.
- Periodontal treatment: To address gum disease, we may perform scaling and root planing, gum grafting, or a related treatment.