Sensitive teeth are a very common occurrence amongst the patients at TenderCare Dental in Portland, Oregon. Unfortunately, sensitive teeth can be hiding a more serious condition such as receding gums, enamel abrasion, over whitening of teeth, or worst of all cavities.
If you avoid eating ice cream, drinking ice water, or a hot cup of coffee, you probably have sensitive teeth. This condition can be extremely uncomfortable and frustrating. It can even be life changing because you will avoid some of the simple pleasures in life like eating a piece of chocolate or eating a warm bowl of soup.
So, here are some things you can do to reduce the sensitive teeth.
1. Use a good desensitizing toothpaste. There are a wide variety of toothpastes out there that are advertised as desensitizing. A few of our favorites would be Pronamel Sensodyne or Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief.
We recommend daily application of the paste, preferably at night. Use a Q-tip or finger to apply the paste directly to the teeth or areas that are sensitive. Then spit the excess out without rinsing your mouth.
If these over-the-counter toothpastes don’t do the trick, ask your dentist for prescription fluoride toothpaste. Some of our favorites are Fluoridex, PreviDent 5000, MI Paste, and Clinpro 5000. The application process is the same for most over-the-counter desensitizing toothpastes. Ask your dentist for further instructions.
2. Buy a Fluoride Rinse. Generally these fluoride rinses can be found at any pharmacy. Not only will the fluoride help with sensitive teeth but it will also help with those that are very susceptible to dental decay. We recommend using the rinse twice a day combining it with the application of desensitizing toothpaste. You should notice a considerable decrease in sensitivity in a matter of weeks.
3. Tooth Sealants. Most of the time we think of sealants for permanent teeth on children. It is primarily used as a way to prevent decay in children. However, sealants can be very affective when a dentist applies the sealant the exposed root surface from severe recession of the gums. People will generally notice a huge difference right after application.
4. Root Canal Treatment. The very last solution to prolonged unbearable tooth sensitivity might inevitably be a root canal. If the dental pulp or nerve of the tooth is treated the sensitivity will be reduced. Make sure to consult with your dentist to make sure this course of treatment is right for you. It is usually the last option in the treatment of severe tooth sensitivity.
5. Nightguard. In the case that you have sensitive teeth as a result of worn enamel from the grinding of teeth, your dentist might recommend a nightguard. A nightguard will prevent further enamel wear or abrasion, thus reducing tooth sensitivity. Other options such as desensitizing toothpaste should be used in combination with the nightguard.
TenderCare Dental treats sensitive teeth very seriously. If you suspect that you have overly sensitive teeth, make a phone call to your TenderCare Dentist who will take special care to diagnosis your condition and provide adequate treatment.
This post was written by Dr. Justin Marostica a dentist at TenderCare Dental in Tigard, Oregon. You can follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/TenderDentistor join him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TigardDentist.