Dealing with Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is an extremely common problem. It occurs when the dentin, which is the layer directly beneath the enamel, becomes exposed. Dentin is filled with tiny liquid-filled tubules that transmit sensation directly to the nerve of the tooth. When the liquid is excited by an external stimulus, like something hot, cold, sweet or sour, the nerve can become hyper-stimulated, and you might feel a sharp or uncomfortable feeling in your tooth. Our dentist Dr. Mondavi can help you deal with tooth sensitivity.
In most cases, sensitivity responds well to conservative treatments. Anti-sensitivity toothpaste helps by blocking the painful signals to the nerve of the tooth. They typically contain strontium chloride or potassium nitrate, ingredients that stop the liquid-filled tubules and prevent them from transmitting any signals to the pulp of the tooth. This eliminates pain and keeps your teeth comfortable. Over-the-counter desensitizing toothpaste is available, but you might benefit from prescription-strength toothpaste if your problem is severe. Fluoride treatments can also be helpful by strengthening the enamel on your teeth.
In some cases, sensitivity is not caused by worn enamel but by other dental problems. Pain can be triggered by cavities, a crack or chip, bruxism, or leaking restorations. In these cases, desensitizing toothpaste will not help, and proper treatment is critical to prevent the problem from worsening. We will need to evaluate your smile to make a diagnosis and recommend the correct course of action. Call us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mondavi.
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