If you suffer from tooth sensitivity, you know how much it can affect your day-to-day life. With this condition, eating can become quite painful, especially when you are enjoying very cold foods. Generally, tooth sensitivity will develop because of enamel or gum erosion. However, these two problems can themselves have several underlying causes. At Value Dental Centers in Gilbert, AZ, we provide effective treatment for sensitive teeth. After determining the underlying cause of your discomfort, we will begin with the most conservative option. We will then monitor your improvement, adjusting your treatment plan, as needed.
The Symptoms of Tooth Sensitivity
Dental sensitivity can manifest itself in different ways. In some cases, it may cause a dull, persistent ache. In other situations, you could experience a sharp, shooting pain. Often, very cold foods will trigger sensitivity. Breathing in cold air could also cause significant discomfort.
What Causes Dental Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity will occur when you have exposed dental nerves. All of your teeth have large nerves that run down your root canals, ending in the soft pulp chamber in the center. You also have a number of tiny nerves contained in the dentin of your teeth. Dentin is a porous layer of tissue is located just underneath the enamel. If the hard enamel starts to wear away, your nerves will not be protected.
Bruxism is one of the most common reasons for enamel erosion. If you struggle with this problem, you chronically clench your jaw and grind your teeth. In turn, the constant friction can gradually remove the top layer of dental tissue. Bruxism can arise for many different reasons. Stress, misalignment, and missing teeth are all common causes.
You could also experience enamel erosion if you routinely eat an acidic diet, brush your teeth improperly, have an imbalanced bite, or suffer from acid reflux disease.
In still other cases, tooth sensitivity can develop because of gum recession, which will expose the larger nerves in your roots. Typically, gum recession is the result of periodontal disease. As bacterial pockets develop in your gums, they will pull the soft tissues away from your teeth. Air and sugar can then come in contact with the nerves.
Treating Tooth Sensitivity
The right treatment for your sensitive teeth will depend on the reason for your discomfort. Treatment options include:
- Anti-sensitivity products: Because we will begin with the most conservative treatment, we may first recommend simple anti-sensitivity toothpaste or gel.
- Lifestyle changes: Changing your diet or learning better ways to brush your teeth may stop enamel erosion.
- Bruxism night guards: Night guards are often the most successful way to treat bruxism. Custom-made for your mouth, these devices will keep your top and bottom teeth from touching.
- Orthodontic care: Invisalign® and other types of orthodontic treatment can restore the balance of your bite. In turn, this will reduce pressure on isolated teeth, and it could also keep you from grinding your teeth.
- Dental crowns: If you have particularly severe erosion, a dental crown will cover your tooth and protect the exposed nerves.
- Scaling and root planing: One of the most common treatments for gum disease, scaling and root planing will eliminate bacterial pockets. In turn, this will reduce your risk for gum recession.
- Gum grafting: A gum graft may be appropriate when you have significant gum recession. The new tissues will integrate with your gum line and cover up your dental roots.
In many cases, we can combine treatments for the most effective and dramatic results.
Contact Us for Lasting Relief
Are you ready to eat freely and without discomfort? Contact our office today for sensitivity treatment.