If your teeth hurt when you eat, drink, or brush, there are treatment options. The right one for you depends on the underlying cause of your sensitivity.
Tooth sensitivity often occurs when the enamel wears down or gum tissue recedes, leaving tooth roots exposed. These roots have tiny tubules that lead to the nerve center of the tooth. When those tubes are triggered by temperature changes, you experience pain.
If you’ve experienced painful sensations in your teeth when eating or drinking hot or cold items, you may have tooth sensitivity. This condition occurs when the inner dentin loses its protective covering of enamel or cementum, leaving nerve endings exposed to hot and cold foods.
The good news is that you can reduce sensitivity pain at home with some simple remedies. For example, rinsing with a mouthwash designed for sensitive teeth can help alleviate symptoms by filling in tiny holes in the enamel and dentin to reduce the amount of stimuli that reaches your nerves.
Other home treatments include rinsing with salt water to help relieve pain caused by inflammation in the gum tissues. The salt acts as a natural antiseptic and improves the pH balance in your mouth to prevent bacterial growth. Rinsing twice a day with this solution can minimize your sensitivity pain.
Using toothpaste for sensitive teeth can also reduce your symptoms and protect the health of your enamel and dentin. Look for a formula that contains ingredients like calcium carbonate to strengthen the enamel and fluoride to help reduce sensitivity by remineralizing your teeth. Another option is to try a topical treatment like clove oil, which has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve pain. You can use a cotton ball to apply this solution to the affected area.
Tooth sensitivity is an extremely common condition. It occurs when the sensitive nerve in a tooth is irritated by everyday activities such as eating hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods, and brushing teeth. These symptoms are caused when the dentin (a porous tissue that covers the roots and core) becomes exposed due to enamel loss or gum recession, exposing microscopic tubules. These tubules are pathways to the nerve and trigger pain when stimulated.
While teeth sensitivity can be caused by a variety of issues, most cases are mild and go away on their own with proper oral hygiene, regular dental checkups, and using desensitizing toothpaste. However, if the sensitivity lingers, it is best to consult with a dentist for further treatment.
Some in-office treatments include gel fluoride treatment which can help strengthen the tooth and reduce sensitivity, as well as tooth sealants and crowns. Surgical gum grafts can also be used to cover exposed root surfaces and reduce discomfort. In severe cases, root canals may be recommended to remove the tooth’s sensitive nerve. Clove oil and clove bud extract have anti-inflammatory and germicidal properties, which can help to relieve the pain of sensitive teeth. These oils are often swished around the mouth to reduce inflammation, bacteria overgrowth, and pain. Dental billing service providers that are familiar with dental codes and guidelines can manage the coding and claim submission process for these procedures.
Sometimes teeth sensitivity goes away on its own — especially if it’s caused by enamel erosion or a recent dental procedure like a filling or a root canal. But if the pain lingers, it’s worth scheduling an appointment with your dentist. They may be able to recommend treatment that restores lost tooth structure, reduces nerve sensitivity or both.
Tooth sensitivity is triggered by microscopic tubules in dentin that are exposed when gum tissue recedes or the tooth enamel wears down. These tubules connect to the nerves inside the tooth. When they’re exposed, people with sensitive teeth experience discomfort from cold temperatures, hot drinks, acidic foods or tooth brushing.
To treat sensitivity, your dentist will use a desensitizing toothpaste that contains compounds that help block the transmission of sensations from the tooth surface to the nerve. They may also apply a fluoride gel, rinse or varnish to the affected teeth at regular appointments, one or two weeks apart, to build up protection.
If you’ve recently had a tooth extraction, bite firmly but gently on the gauze pad placed by your dentist to reduce bleeding and encourage the formation of a blood clot in the tooth socket. Avoid spitting forcefully or using a straw because this can dislodge the clot and disrupt healing. Also, only eat soft foods like soup, yogurt and applesauce for the first 24 hours to prevent irritating the site.
If your teeth are especially sensitive, there are several options to help reduce this discomfort. For example, brushing regularly with a desensitizing toothpaste can help seal the tubes that lead to the nerve centre of the tooth. This toothpaste can be found over-the-counter and will usually take a few applications before you start to feel relief. Your dentist may also recommend fluoride rinses or gel, available with or without a prescription, which can strengthen enamel and reduce pain. Some patients find relief from a topical sensitivity agent, such as GC Tooth mousse or Emoform gel, which is applied to the surface of the tooth. Exposed root surfaces can be treated with bonding resin, which will also act as a protective cover and reduce sensitivity.
In addition to these treatments, a careful diet that avoids acidic foods and drinks, and regular visits to your dentist can help keep sensitivity at bay. Your dentist can spot and treat any problems with your gums or enamel as they develop, helping you to have a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile. If you are experiencing sensitivity, make sure you get in touch with your City Bridge Dental team to discuss your symptoms and explore treatment options as soon as possible. Tooth sensitivity can be a sign of something more serious, such as gum disease, so don’t ignore it!