Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common dental problems that Americans suffer from. Here at Vita Dental, four in every ten patients come into our offices to report tooth sensitivity and this just shows the magnitude of the problem in the country. Owing to the tremendous increase in the number of patients reporting dental sensitivity, it is only noble for us to address the issue and help you understand what tooth sensitivity is, its causes, how to prevent it and the treatment options available at Vita Dental for tooth sensitivity. So, what is tooth sensitivity?
Our teeth are full of nerves and blood vessels. These are protected by the dentin part of the tooth. When the dentin is exposed therefore, the nerves and blood vessels are left exposed. The exposure of the nerves and blood vessels means increased sensitivity to temperature changes and acidity. When drinking hot or cold drinks therefore, there will be a very painful sensation in the mouth which subsides over a period of time. This is why tooth sensitivity is and it makes certain activities such as brushing, flossing, eating and even drinking very painful.
There are very many causes of tooth sensitivity. The most common cause of tooth sensitivity is too much consumption of acidic foods and foods which have a very high sugar content. The acids contained in these foods dissolves the enamel causing dental decay and exposure of the nerves. Too much abrasion of the dentin can also cause tooth sensitivity. Chewing hard foods and nail biting can cause the dentin to scratch and partially expose the pulp containing nerves and blood vessels. Receded gums are also a cause of tooth sensitivity as the area containing nerves and blood vessels is exposed. Cracked or a chipped tooth will also be sensitive to temperature and acidity in foods. Other cases of sensitive teeth are as a result of botched cosmetic dental procedures such bleaching which are done by unqualified professionals. This is why you should always get your procedures done by professionals.
Treatment options for tooth sensitivity
Here at Vita Dental, we have a wide array of treatment options for tooth sensitivity. The option we settle for depends on the magnitude of the sensitivity and the exact cause of the sensitivity. Here are some of the most common treatment options we use for the treatment of tooth sensitivity;
- Bonding or desensitizing
This is one of the most common treatment mechanism we use here at Vita dental and it is very effective. Bonding or desensitizing involves the application of bonding resin to the sensitive root surfaces. When the exposed root surfaces are not as big, then the resin is used to bond and seal the exposed area hence killing off the sensitivity.
- Surgical gum graft
As we saw earlier on, gum recession is right up there with the most common causes of tooth sensitivity. To curb receded gums and ultimately heal tooth sensitivity, we perform surgical gum graft here at Vita Dental. Surgical gum graft involves the use of tissue from another part of the body to fill and replace lost tissue in another part of the body which in this case is the gums. This way, the exposed gums are protected and the sensitivity is reduced.
- Root canal
Root canal treatment is by far the most effective treatment for tooth sensitivity. Unlike the other treatment options which are aimed at suppressing the pain or controlling it for a while, root canal treatment completely eliminates sensitivity forever. In root canal treatment, the dentist removes the pulp containing blood vessels and nerves as they are no longer needed. The nerves and blood vessels are only needed during the early development of the tooth for replenishing purposes but once the tooth is fully developed, the nerves and blood vessels are useless and can be done away with. The dentist will therefore remove the dental pulp and you will never experience sensitivity ever again in your life.
In the young ones where root canal is not viable, fluoride is applied to the areas of the teeth which are weak to strengthen the tooth enamel and reduce the pain. There is prescription fluoride which can be used at home to reduce the sensitivity as well.
- Desensitizing toothpaste
The other option is the use of desensitizing toothpaste to calm away the pain and block the nerves from picking up any changes in temperature and pH.
Here at Vita Dental Katy, we always opt for the treatment option we deem best for the dental condition the patient is suffering from. You can therefore expect nothing but the best every time you visit us for treatment of sensitive teeth. Besides treating sensitive teeth, we offer a number of other high quality dental treatments at affordable rates. Give us a call today or visit our offices to learn more about our dental treatment options.