According to a 2013 study, 1 in 8 people suffers from sensitive teeth. Most common among young adults, women, and patients who suffer from gum disease, this chronic oral health condition can negatively impact every aspect of day to day life from what you’re able to eat and drink, to caring for your teeth. It’s important that patients know dental sensitivity is never the norm. If you experience any level of sensitivity, call The Dental Spa of New York team right away. We’ll help you find the best solution for your situation.
What Types of Dental Sensitivity exist?
Patients with mild dental sensitivity may not even know there’s anything wrong. They’re the patients who think sensitivity is the norm, and in these situations, the condition is almost always undiagnosed and untreated. Moderate dental sensitivity typically manifests itself as discomfort when consuming hot and cold foods and beverages. These patients may try to avoid certain foods or behaviors that trigger sensitivity rather than seeking treatment. Those who have the most severe sensitivity may find themselves in pain when completing even the simplest tasks like chewing a meal, and they are the most likely to seek professional help from their dentist.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
Sensitive teeth have numerous causes, and it’s important that we pinpoint the exact cause prior to beginning treatment in order to provide the most effective treatment. The underlying reason for sensitivity is typically that thinning tooth enamel allows the nerve system of the tooth to be accessed. Some of the most common causes of dental sensitivity include:
- Receding gums (typically a result of gum disease)
- Tooth grinding and clenching (bruxism)
- Eroded tooth enamel (often due to acidic foods)
- Decayed, chipped, or broken teeth
- Teeth whitening treatment
- Thinning tooth enamel due to aging or genetic predisposition
How is Dental Sensitivity Treated?
Treatment depends largely on the cause of sensitivity. The most often used solutions are topical fluoride therapies that strengthen the tooth enamel, dental sealants, and desensitizing toothpastes and gels that can be used in our office and at home. Based on the common causes above, treatments include:
- Receding gums – gum disease treatments and/or soft tissue grafting
- Bruxism – treatment to prevent teeth grinding and clenching
- Enamel erosion – fluoride treatments to strengthen tooth enamel and fill in porous surfaces
- Decay and damage – the best way to prevent dental sensitivity due to damage is to repair the tooth with a filling, crown, or other restoration
- Teeth whitening – the first step is to forego whitening, and in most cases, we also provide fluoride treatment
- Thinning tooth enamel – whether caused by damage, aging, or genetic predisposition, we may recommend fluoride treatments, placing dental bonding, or porcelain veneers to protect teeth