When your teeth begin to feel a bit sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, sensitivity toothpaste is a good first treatment to try. This type of toothpaste typically contains ingredients to seal off the dentin tubules in your teeth that may have become exposed due to gum disease or enamel erosion. There are times, however, when sensitivity toothpaste will not work. If your teeth continue to feel sensitive after a few weeks of using this type of toothpaste, visit your dentist, who will likely recommend one of these more advanced treatments.
Oftentimes, sensitive teeth can be attributed, at least in part, to weakened tooth enamel. When your enamel is weak and soft, it can begin to erode, causing the exposure of sensitive dentin tubule that are found underneath your enamel. If your dentist feels that weak enamel is contributing to your sensitivity, he or she may recommend a fluoride treatment. Fluoride helps harden your enamel up again, so these tubules become more protected. The treatment process is simple; you bite into a tray that contains a concentrated fluoride solution, and keep it in place for a few minutes. You may require a couple of fluoride treatments before noticeable results are experienced.
Another common contributor to tooth sensitivity is receding gums. If your gums begin to recede, the lower portions of your teeth will be left exposed – and the nerves in this portion of your teeth are much more sensitive. If you have gum disease, your dentist may recommend a root scaling procedure. This is a deep cleaning procedure that removes plaque and bacteria from the lower portion of your teeth. You will likely be given anesthetic to keep you comfortable during the procedure, and you may experience minor soreness afterwards. However, root scaling will help jump-start your healing from gum disease and eventually, if you care for your gums properly with regular brushing and flossing, your sensitivity should subside.
If you have had gum disease for quite a while and your gums are noticeably receding, then your dentist may recommend a gum graft as the most efficient means of dealing with sensitivity. In this procedure, tissue from the top of your mouth is grafted to your gums. Once the area heals, your teeth will be less exposed, so sensitivity will be less of an issue.
How your dentist decides to deal with your sensitivity will depend on its underlying cause. If soft enamel is to blame, a fluoride treatment will likely be the prescribed course of action – and if gum disease is to blame, you can expect to undergo root scaling or gum grafts.
To learn more, contact a company like Brookside Dental Associate.