Having sensitive teeth is, literally, a big pain. Sensitive teeth develop when the gums recede away from the teeth or when the enamel is cracked or worn off the teeth. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including the types of liquids you drink, age, brushing habits, or not taking good care of your teeth.
With sensitive teeth, a person experiences pain, usually with cold foods or drinks. The good thing is that if you suffer from sensitive teeth, there are things you can do to make life less painful. The following are a few of the services we offer here at West Tennessee Periodontics and Dental Implants to help ease sensitive teeth.
Sensitive teeth toothpaste – Many people find relief from the pain of sensitive teeth by using toothpaste designed to minimize the pain. This type of toothpaste blocks the tiny, exposed nerves that cause pain. Depending on the severity of your condition, changing your toothpaste could make a huge difference. One of the most common sensitivity toothpastes on the market is Sensodyne and Dr. Welch regularly recommends this as a good OTC alternative. However, it often takes several weeks to months to see a significant difference with the OTC products. One of the benefits of coming in frequently for cleanings or an exam is that Dr. Welch can also prescribe a professional strength sensitivity toothpaste that is rich in fluoride, like Colgate’s Prevident 5000 series. The results with Rx strength toothpastes is much quicker and tends to make patients happier in the long run.
Fluoride treatments – Some dentists provide patients with fluoride treatments, which helps reduce sensitivity by strengthening the teeth and providing protection. Often these treatments use a custom tray fabricated from a set of impressions of your mouth. Dr. Welch directly fabricates these trays, offering custom treatment to correct our patients problems. If your condition is severe, this might not work for you so discuss your options with your dentist.
Coating the teeth – For severe cases, Dr. Welch often recommends covering your teeth with a special coating. Similar to plastic, this coating fills in all the grooves, cracks and holes in your teeth, protecting your teeth from food and drinks and reducing sensitivity.
Proper dental hygiene – The best defense is a good offense. Proper dental hygiene will reduce your chances of developing sensitive teeth. Even if you have sensitive teeth already, once you treat the sensitivity, good oral care is still a priority to prevent further deterioration of your teeth.
You do not have to live in pain with sensitive teeth. Once your problem is solved, be sure and practice good oral hygiene. You can and should be able to live a pain-free life.