Causes and Treatments of Tooth Sensitivity

Causes and Treatments of Tooth SensitivityTooth sensitivity is extremely common, affecting about half of all Americans. While it can happen at any age, it is most common from the mid-twenties and on. Tooth sensitivity can develop for a number of reasons. Our dentist in Los Angeles can help determine what the best course of treatment will be to help restore comfort and desensitize teeth.

What causes sensitive teeth?

In healthy teeth, a strong layer of enamel covers the crown of the tooth, while a layer called cementum covers the root. Beneath these layers is the dentin of the tooth. The dentin contains canals. If the outer layers of the tooth become compromised, the canals may transmit extreme temperature changes through fluid to the nerves in the pulp, which then causes pain and irritation.

Sensitive teeth ultimately have two main causes: receding gums and enamel loss. Receding gums may be caused by either periodontal disease or normal aging and can lead to exposed dentin on the root area.

Enamel loss can occur through wear at the neck of the tooth. This can be caused through tooth grinding, brushing too hard, or using a hard bristled brush. Enamel loss can also occur through erosion. Acidic foods, frequent mouthwash use, GERD, and bulimia can all erode the enamel and lead to sensitive teeth.

Teeth can also become sensitive when they are broken, cracked, or suffer untreated decay.

A recent dental treatment such as a scaling or planing or a tooth restoration may lead to a temporary sensitivity as well.

Treatments for sensitive teeth

Our Los Angeles dentist will assess the cause for tooth sensitivity and determine the best course of treatment. Tooth decay or damage and periodontal disease can be successfully treated. Proper oral hygiene will minimize future dental problems. Brush at least twice daily with a soft bristle brush and floss once daily.

A desensitizing toothpaste containing potassium nitrate or strontium chloride can help reduce sensitivity with continued use. In-office fluoride gel treatments can both strengthen tooth enamel and reduce tooth sensitivity. Sealants can also be an appropriate treatment, sealing the exposed root of the sensitive teeth.

Source: Dentist Los Angeles

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