Alleviating Tooth Sensitivity

People often struggle with sensitive teeth. The sensitivity can be triggered by drinking cold liquids, eating certain foods, or just because. There are many reasons and causes for sensitive teeth ranging anywhere from tooth decay, misaligned teeth (maloclussion), or even gum recession.

Gum Recession and Sensitive Teeth

Gum recession is when your gum tissues no longer cover a part of the tooth root. This is often a result of aggressive brushing, bone loss or even genetics. If you are experiencing sensitivity due to recession, there are a few different options that will allow you to love the foods that are causing you grief.

  1. Fluoridated toothpastes and in-office fluoride varnish application
    Roots of teeth contain many small channels that lead to the nerve called dentinal tubules. When your gums no longer cover the root in certain areas, you experience sensitivity with cold food or liquids coming in contact with the root. Using a fluoridated toothpaste or in-office fluoride varnish helps to remineralize your enamel and temporarily block or occlude the exposed tubules on your root that act as direct channels to your nerve.
  2. Potassium nitrate toothpaste (Sensodyne and Colgate Sensitive)
    Toothpastes that contain potassium nitrate are designed to block the dentinal tubule, reducing sensitivity. It usually takes anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks to build up a strong enough layer that patients notice a difference to the bothersome liquids and foods. The downside is if you stop using the product, the sensitivity can return.
  3. Seal and Protect applied by your dentist
    This is an in-office procedure that can be done during your hygiene visits. Seal and Protect is a light cured product that is applied to the exposed area of the tooth root. Dr. Holloway-Kleidosty will come in after your cleaning and apply it to you tooth without you even having to get numb. You will be able to notice an instant improvement and this product usually lasts up to 1 to 2 years and can be reapplied when sensitivity returns.
  4. Gum grafting
    Periodontists who specialize in soft tissue management perform this procedure. The ultimate goal is to “put back” lost gum tissue that has left the root exposed.

Misaligned Teeth and Sensitive Teeth

Malocclusion, more commonly thought of as crooked or misaligned teeth, can range anywhere from crowding, spacing, deep bite, overbite, or any combination thereof. By addressing and fixing the malocclusion you not only help improve the cleanability of your teeth, you also can help eliminate further recession, abfractions and tooth sensitivity.

  1. Floss Dental Boutique offers Invisalign for the management and correction of mild to moderate malocclusion.
  2. If your case is too severe, we can offer a referral to an orthodontist to get our teeth back to their proper alignment.

Regular Dental Hygiene to Prevent Tooth Sensitivity

Maintaining regular dental check-ups will help to ensure you are decay or cavity free. Sensitivity to sweets and cold can be signs that you may have decay. If your dentist finds a cavity, a prompt appointment to get that treated will help minimize the chance of the bad bacteria spreading to your adjacent teeth. Also, catching it early tends to keep your costs down and allows you to maintain more of your natural tooth structure.