Teeth may become sensitive when dentin, the second layer of tooth structure, is exposed. If the tubules, (small microscopic porous holes in the tooth structure) open, then heat and cold temperatures can trigger nerve pain, as well as acidic and sugar foods.
Dentin can be exposed by receded gums, fractured or chipped teeth, wear from clenching and grinding or erosion caused by acidic foods and drinks.
Soft and extra soft toothbrush bristles are available for people with sensitive teeth. Prescription fluoride rinses or gels prescribed by the dentist and desensitizing toothpastes are available to help close the tubules in the tooth structure. Toothpaste by Crest, Colgate and Sensodyne are available to be used on a daily basis in place of your usual toothpaste. Each product contains different active ingredients, so one product may work while the other does not. Crest makes sensi-stop strips available for placement on a single tooth. This strip will provide instant relief and is claimed to work for one month if it is true sensitivity from open tubules.
At times sensitivity can occur generalized and other times on a specific tooth. If it comes and goes, it may only be a sensitivity issue. If it is more constant, it could be a more serious issue. Seeing your dentist can help you receive the best dental treatment.
Why are my teeth so sensitive?
You’re brushing too hard. Make sure you’re using a soft or automatic toothbrush. Make yourself aware if you realize you’re pressing too hard. Newer automatic toothbrushes will actually shut off if you’re brushing too hard, making it an excellent feature for hard brushers.
You clench and grind—see your dentist to see if a guard may help.
You eat acidic foods in excess.
You’re using whitening toothpaste. This can mainly increase sensitivity to those who already have sensitive teeth, but can cause sensitivity for anyone.
You’re using tartar control toothpaste. Pyrophosphate ingredients in tartar control products may cause sensitivity for some people.
Overuse of mouth rinses.
Gum disease—receded gums.
Excessive plaque. At times a dental cleaning can decrease or eliminate sensitivity symptoms.
You’ve had a dental procedure. You should see your dentist if the sensitivity does not diminish in a short period of time.
Your tooth is cracked. This is beyond use of OTC and a dentist should be seen.
The tooth has decay. Your dentist can help determine if it’s hypersensitivity or a cavity.
While many things have changed over the last couple of months, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.
That's why our staff is taking every precaution to make this office as safe as possible for our patients. You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment including:
Our office will communicate with you before your appointment to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.
When you arrive for your appointment, don't enter the office. Call us and an escort will come down to take your temperature, ask you COVID-19 screening questions, and then walk you to the office.
If your temperature is over 100.4 we will need to reschedule your appointment.
We are only allowing the actual patient to come up to the office unless you are a child under the age of 18 (then one parent will need to come to the appointment), or a patient that needs assistance (then one caregiver may come to appointment).
We ask that a mask be worn to all appointments to keep other patients and our staff safe in the spreading of COVID-19.
Please use the provided hand sanitizer when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys, and so forth since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients.
We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.
We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice.