Sensitive Teeth: Causes, Treatments, and Home Remedies

Dental Solutions of Mississippi

Do you experience sudden, sharp pain when consuming hot or cold foods and drinks? Or perhaps even when breathing in cold air? If so, you’re not alone. Tooth sensitivity is a common dental issue that affects millions of people worldwide. At Dental Solutions of Mississippi, our team of experienced dental professionals, led by Dr. Ruth Morgan and Dr. Jessica Morgan Vaughn, is dedicated to helping patients with family dentistry in Canton, MS, and the surrounding areas to help manage and alleviate tooth sensitivity.

Understanding the Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity occurs when the innermost layer of your tooth, known as the dentin, becomes exposed. The dentin contains microscopic tubules that lead directly to the nerve endings within the tooth. When these tubules are exposed, cold, hot, sweet, or acidic substances can irritate the nerve endings, causing that familiar, sharp, stinging sensation.

Several factors can contribute to the exposure of the dentin, including:

  1. Enamel erosion: The outer protective layer of your teeth, the enamel, can wear away due to excessive consumption of acidic foods and beverages, aggressive brushing, or teeth grinding (bruxism).
  2. Gum recession: As gums recede, they expose the root surfaces of your teeth, which are not protected by enamel and are more susceptible to sensitivity.
  3. Tooth decay: Cavities or tooth fractures can lead to dentin exposure and sensitivity.
  4. Teeth whitening products: Certain teeth whitening treatments, if used excessively or incorrectly, can cause temporary tooth sensitivity.
  5. Dental procedures: Certain dental treatments, such as root canal therapy or tooth restoration, can sometimes result in temporary sensitivity.

Treating Tooth Sensitivity

At Dental Solutions of Mississippi, our family dentistry team will work with you to identify the underlying cause of your tooth sensitivity and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Depending on the severity and cause of your sensitivity, we may recommend one or more of the following treatments:

  1. Desensitizing toothpaste: These specially formulated toothpaste contain compounds that help block the tubules in the dentin, reducing nerve irritation and sensitivity. DO NOT RINSE THESE TOOTHPASTE OFF YOUR TEETH. The toothpast “plugs” the tubules but if you rinse off the toothpaste, it will not work. Also it may take a week or 2 for the full effect to occur.  If your sensitivity decreases, be aware that if you change toothpaste or start rinsing the toothpaste off, your sensitivity will return. 
  2. Fluoride treatment: Professional fluoride treatments can strengthen the tooth enamel and reduce sensitivity.
  3. Dental bonding or sealants: In some cases, we may apply a dental bonding or sealant material to cover exposed root surfaces and protect them from sensitivity.
  4. Gum grafts: If gum recession is causing your sensitivity, we may recommend a gum graft procedure to cover the exposed root surfaces.
  5. Root canal therapy: For severe cases of sensitivity caused by deep decay or damage to the tooth’s nerve, a root canal treatment may be necessary to alleviate the discomfort.

Home Remedies for Temporary Relief

While professional dental treatment is often necessary to address the underlying cause of tooth sensitivity, several home remedies can provide temporary relief:

  1. Desensitizing toothpaste: As mentioned earlier, using desensitizing toothpaste can help reduce sensitivity over time.
  2. Saltwater rinses: Rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater can help soothe inflamed gum tissue and reduce sensitivity.
  3. Clove oil: Applying a small amount of clove oil to the affected area can provide temporary relief due to its natural analgesic properties.
  4. Green tea: Rinsing your mouth with green tea, which is rich in antioxidants, can help reduce inflammation and sensitivity.
  5. Avoid acidic and sugary foods: Limiting your consumption of acidic and sugary foods and beverages can help prevent further enamel erosion and reduce sensitivity.
  6. Be sure you are using a soft bristle toothbrush.  Hard bristles remove more tooth structure. Your soft bristles may become “splayed” after a month or so. It is time to replace your toothbrush.
  7. DO NOT USE course or harsh toothpaste such as Pearl Drops or SMoker’s toothpaste.  These contain abrasives that may make your teeth whiter but remove a surface layer of your teeth.

At Dental Solutions of Mississippi in Canton, our family dentistry experts, Dr. Ruth Roach Morgan, and Dr. Jessica Morgan, provide comprehensive care and solutions for all your dental needs, including tooth sensitivity. We understand the discomfort and inconvenience that sensitive teeth can cause, and we strive to help our patients find relief and restore their ability to enjoy their favorite foods and drinks without pain.

Family Dentistry in Canton

If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with our practice. Our caring and knowledgeable team will thoroughly evaluate your condition, identify the underlying cause, and develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs. With our expertise and commitment to your oral health, you can trust that your sensitive teeth will be in good hands. 

Schedule an appointment today!

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