Understanding Tooth Sensitivity: Causes and Treatment Strategies

Tooth Sensitivity

If you can no longer enjoy your morning coffee or favorite ice cream because of tooth sensitivity, High Street Dentistry is here to help. We will work with you to determine the causes of your discomfort and create a custom treatment plan to provide you with the needed relief. You can count on our team for outstanding, gentle care. 

What Are the Symptoms of Tooth Sensitivity

Patients with tooth sensitivity typically experience sharp pain or discomfort in response to stimuli, including hot, cold, sweet, sour, or acidic food and beverages. The sensitivity can also result from exposure to cold air, teeth brushing and flossing, or rinsing with mouthwash containing alcohol. 

The discomfort related to tooth sensitivity is usually immediate and subsides soon after removing the trigger. Lingering tooth pain or discomfort may indicate other problems, including tooth decay or infected tooth pulp. 

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

The leading causes of tooth sensitivity are tooth enamel erosion and receding gums tissues, which expose the dentin. Inside a tooth’s dentin are microscopic channels called tubules that are pathways to the nerves. When these tubules are exposed, external stimuli easily trigger the nerves, resulting in sensitive teeth. 

Several factors contribute to tooth sensitivity, including harsh brushing with a hard-bristled brush, tooth decay, a cracked tooth, or damaged dental work. It can also develop due to exposure to acidic foods and drinks, gum disease, frequent teeth whitening treatments, and habitual teeth grinding and clenching, a condition known as bruxism. Other causes of tooth enamel erosion include medical conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) and bulimia, which expose the teeth to stomach acids, resulting in tooth wear. 

How Is Tooth Sensitivity Treated?

In some cases, tooth sensitivity is temporary and goes away on its own. If, however, the discomfort persists, we may recommend one or a combination of the following dental procedures:

  • Proper Oral Hygiene: One of the most effective ways to manage tooth sensitivity is to maintain good oral hygiene. That includes flossing daily and brushing your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush at least twice a day.
  • Desensitizing Toothpaste: Desensitizing toothpaste can sometimes block the pain and discomfort associated with tooth sensitivity. Your trusted team at High Street Dentistry can recommend the ideal product for you. 
  • Restorative Dentistry: If we identify tooth decay, cavities, cracks, chips, or damaged dental work, we will recommend prompt treatment. That is often all that’s needed to provide the needed relief. 
  • Fluoride Treatments: If your teeth are sensitive due to tooth decay, fluoride treatments can help by strengthening your tooth enamel. We may recommend in-office treatment and fluoride applications at home using custom trays. 
  • Dental Bonding: We may recommend applying a composite resin material to cover any exposed tooth roots. That can help relieve the discomfort associated with tooth sensitivity. 
  • Custom Night Guard: If you grind your teeth in your sleep, we may recommend a custom night guard. That will help protect your teeth and prevent further wear or damage. 
  • Gum Graft: If you have severe gum recession, we may recommend a gum graft. That can cover and protect your exposed tooth roots, reducing your sensitivity.
  • Root Canal Therapy: If other treatments fail to relieve your symptoms, we may recommend root canal therapy. The endodontic procedure has been shown to eliminate the pain and discomfort associated with tooth sensitivity. 

Tooth Sensitivity Treatment Near Me

Contact High Street Dentistry in Jefferson City, MO, to learn more about managing tooth sensitivity. We will evaluate your concerns, determine the causes of your tooth sensitivity, and recommend your best treatment options for lasting relief. Contact us to schedule your appointment today!