Teeth hypersensitivity: Yes, a problem your dentist can solve

It is widely reported among dental professionals throughout Massachusetts and all throughout the country that patients often endure the pain and discomfort of overly sensitive teeth because they are not aware that dentists have a wide range of treatments that can help or even eliminate the problem.  According to Massachusetts General Hospital, even less severe, more easily lived with and commonly witnessed cold sensitivity in teeth, although difficult to study, can be addressed.

Adding to this issue, research shows that patients do not necessarily perceive dental hypersensitivity as a condition similar to a toothache or bleeding gums.  Living with such discomfort can make eating and drinking a chore every day.  This is very likely not necessary at all, and your friends at Riverwalk Dental would like to explain why this is the case, what are the causes, and how to find relief.

The Cause of Dentin Hypersensitivity

Dentin is a live layer just below the enamel part of your teeth.  Exposure of this part of your teeth is what often causes the sharp, painful sensation experienced when the enamel part of one’s tooth wear away or the gums recede from the tooth.  This exposes the dentin, causing the sharp pain one experiences when they suffer from dentin hypersensitivity.

If you are brushing your teeth too hard or using a toothbrush that is so firm it is causing erosion of your tooth enamel, your teeth over time will become more and more sensitive.  If you find you are in fact developing sensitive teeth, consider changing your brushing habits and/or toothbrush to both clean your teeth as well as protect them from this self-inflicted erosion.

Periodontal diseases are another means of your teeth’s dentin to be exposed and in turn cause tooth oversensitivity.  Periodontal diseases are caused by infections and inflammation of the gums and bone that surround and support your teeth.  Gingivitis is the early stages of this form of gum disease, and is easily addressed, but without treatment such a condition could cause the gums to recede from your teeth, bone can be lost, and teeth can even loosen or fall out.  Without treatment, dentin sensitivity would likely follow adding more discomfort and possibly more permanent damage over time.

Another common cause of dentin sensitivity is due to teeth whitening.  Over the counter whitening products can and often work well, but without the supervision of your dental professional, sometimes serious damage can occur.  It is recommended that Riverwalk Dental patients work with Dr. Beninato and Dr. Patsi to ensure you get the smile you aim for while also protecting your teeth from long term damage.

How to Address Dentin Hypersensitivity

If you are just beginning to witness tooth sensitivity, consider any changes recently in your brushing habits.  Did you change to a firmer bristle brush?  Are you applying too much pressure to the brush as you glide it along your teeth?  Oftentimes tooth sensitivity can be temporary, and resolved quickly, simply by recognizing these new habits and correcting them.

If you have started a tooth whitening treatment, come and visit Riverwalk Dental and let us assess the process you are using.  We may be able to improve upon this process to both whiten your teeth while also preventing any damage to your teeth that may very well be causing the oversensitivity.

If you find that none of the aforementioned causes could be the reason for your teeth’s oversensitivity, consider using a toothpaste deigned to address dentin hypersensitivity.  Colgate Sensitive Toothpaste, Sensodyne, and other toothpastes can help ease the pain caused by dentin exposure.  There are also prescription strength toothpastes that Riverwalk Dental can prescribe and have a high probability of offering relief.

There are also more permanent solutions as well one may wish to consider if sensitivity is persistent.  Adhesive systems that occlude, or block dentinal tubules, can offer much more lasting relief.  In severe cases, laser treatments can also offer a more permanent solution, but consultation with Dr. Beninato and Dr. Patsi is strongly recommended in these circumstances.

It is important to remember that a resolution to any pain you feel in and around your mouth can be resolved by a visit to Riverwalk Dental.  Don’t be a stranger, we are here to help!

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