Tooth sensitivity is a common dental concern that can significantly impact your daily life. Understanding how to cope with sensitive teeth involves a combination of lifestyle changes and, in some cases, seeking endodontic solutions.

What causes tooth sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity can be generalized or localized.

Generalized tooth sensitivity most commonly occurs from bleaching teeth. Generalized tooth sensitivity is common and can be felt in many of your teeth.

Localized tooth sensitivity is where you notice one specific tooth or just a couple of hypersensitive teeth. This type of sensitivity can be the result of a variety of issues, including the following.

Worn Tooth Enamel

Enamel, the outermost layer of the tooth, serves as a protective shield. However, aggressive brushing, the consumption of acidic foods, or habitual teeth grinding (bruxism) can contribute to the gradual erosion of enamel. As enamel wears down, it exposes the underlying dentin, making the tooth more susceptible to sensitivity.

Gum Recession

Healthy gums cover and protect the tooth roots. However, gum disease, aggressive brushing, or aging can lead to gum recession, where the gums pull away from the tooth surface.

Receding gums expose the sensitive roots of the teeth. Since the roots lack the protective enamel layer, they are more vulnerable to external factors, resulting in increased sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet, or acidic substances.

Tooth Decay

If cavities, also known as dental caries, extend deep into dentin, near the pulp, patients might develop temperature sensitivity.

Cracked Teeth

Teeth can develop cracks due to various reasons, such as trauma, teeth grinding, or biting on hard objects. Cracks may vary in size and depth. If a tooth is cracked, it can compromise the integrity of the enamel and dentin layers. The exposure of these inner layers can result in sensitivity, especially when chewing.

Lifestyle changes to alleviate tooth sensitivity

Gentle Brushing

Adopting a gentle approach to brushing is crucial to preventing enamel erosion. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles, as hard or medium bristles can contribute to enamel wear. Brushing with too much force can also lead to gum recession. Gentle brushing helps maintain the integrity of the enamel, reducing the risk of exposing dentin and, consequently, decreasing tooth sensitivity.

Desensitizing Toothpaste

Desensitizing toothpaste is formulated specifically for people experiencing tooth sensitivity. These toothpaste varieties typically contain fluoride, which helps strengthen enamel and desensitize the tooth.

Regular use of desensitizing toothpaste can provide relief by reducing sensitivity over time. It forms a protective barrier on the teeth, minimizing the transmission of external stimuli to the nerves.

Avoid Acidic Foods

Acidic foods and beverages, such as citrus fruits, sodas, and certain types of wine, can contribute to enamel erosion. Limiting the consumption of these acidic substances helps preserve enamel integrity.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are essential for maintaining optimal oral health. Your dentist can identify underlying issues that may be causing sensitivity and provide preventive measures to eliminate/ improve the sensitivity.

A proactive approach to oral health ensures a healthier and more comfortable smile over the long term.

Endodontic solutions for localized tooth sensitivity

Talk to our team if you’re experiencing intense or persistent tooth sensitivity, especially in one specific tooth. As an endodontist, Dr. Megan King specializes in diagnosing and treating issues related to the pulp that may be causing your sensitivity.

Root Canal Therapy

When the inner pulp of a tooth is infected or inflamed, often due to deep decay or trauma, a root canal becomes a crucial intervention. During the procedure, the damaged pulp is carefully removed, and the root canal space is cleaned, disinfected, and sealed.

By eliminating the source of infection or inflammation, root canal therapy alleviates pain and eliminates temperature sensitivity. It preserves the natural tooth, preventing the need for extraction.

Gum Grafting

In cases where receding gums expose sensitive tooth roots, gum grafting is a common solution. This procedure involves taking tissue from another part of the mouth (or a donor source) and grafting it onto the exposed roots, effectively covering them.

Gum grafting reduces sensitivity by restoring the protective gum tissue over the exposed roots.

Consult with Endodontic Excellence of Atlanta

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If you’re experiencing persistent tooth sensitivity or have concerns about the health of your teeth, we’re here to provide advanced, compassionate care. At Endodontic Excellence of Atlanta, Dr. Megan King and our dedicated team utilize state-of-the-art technology to ensure the most effective and comfortable endodontic treatments.

Contact us today to schedule your appointment and take the first step towards a pain-free, healthy smile — no referral needed!