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If hot, cold, sweet or very acidic foods and drinks, or breathing in cold air, makes your teeth painful, then you may have tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity can come and go over time. It occurs when the enamel that protects your teeth gets thinner, or when gum recession occurs, exposing the underlying surface, the dentin, and reducing the protection the enamel and gums provide to the tooth and root. This can happen for many reasons, including excessive brushing, pressure, teeth grinding or clenching, and the consumption of acidic foods and liquids.
Treatment Options for Tooth Sensitivity
Having a conversation with your dentist is the first step in finding relief from your discomfort. After your dentist determines the reason for your sensitivity, he or she will treat the underlying cause. Treatment may be as simple as fixing a cavity or replacing a worn filling. However, if your discomfort comes from gum loss exposing root surfaces, your dentist may suggest a gum graft that a periodontist would conduct to protect the root surface and support of the tooth.
Even in situations where there is no obvious cause for your pain, there are numerous ways to help you manage the sensitivity. Your dentist can apply an in-office fluoride gel to strengthen the tooth enamel and reduce painful sensations, while over-the-counter desensitizing toothpastes can block off the nerve endings in the exposed dentin.
We can help relieve your tooth sensitivity. Call Pearly Whites Family Dentistry at (503) 585-4282 today!