Elmhurst Dentist Shares Information About Sensitive Teeth

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on Nov 17, 2020

Sensitive teeth and gums can really hamper your daily life and routine. You may find that you can no longer eat or drink things, and it may even become uncomfortable to thoroughly clean your smile at the start and end of each day. The good news is that our Elmhurst dentists are here to help you minimize sensitivity and protect your smile.

Let’s start by talking about some of the reasons dental sensitivity occurs:

Infection or Fracture

When dental damage or infection extends into the dental pulp you will likely experience discomfort and sensitivity. Your dental enamel and dentin are designed to cover and protect the inner tooth structure, which houses sensitive dental pulp. If these layers fail, your dental nerves will be too accessible to irritants.

Thinning Enamel

Due to things like acid exposure and bruxism (tooth grinding and clenching) dental enamel can become thinner over time. Unfortunately, this means that irritants are able to slip through and reach your dentin and dental pulp. This is why it is so important that you refrain from brushing your teeth after acid exposure, follow all of your dentist’s oral hygiene recommendations, and seek prompt treatment for bruxism. 

Gum Tissue Recession

So far, we have talked about how your tooth structure can change an result in discomfort. However, it also possible for your dental nerves to become exposed at the base of the tooth—where your nerves extend down into your jaw tissue. This occurs when gum tissue begins to pull away from your teeth, due to periodontal disease or injury to your oral tissues.

Our dental team attacks dental sensitivity in a few different ways. As always, the right treatment for you will depend on your specific situation and the state of your smile. Here are some effective treatment protocols to consider.

Encourage Healthy Enamel

One preventive thing that you can do, which can also be effective for patients with enamel that is just beginning to thin, is to focus on treatments and oral hygiene steps that strengthen your teeth. Fluoride is well-known for fortifying enamel; your dentist may recommend in-office topical fluoride applications, or specially formulated toothpastes or rinses that support enamel.

Protect Thin Enamel

If your enamel is already affected by demineralization and thinning, then you may choose to cover insufficient enamel with a dental material, like composite resin or porcelain.

Desensitize Nerves

For occasional discomfort, and to achieve short-term relief, you can use a toothpaste or mouth rinse that works to numb vulnerable nerves. Our dental team can make a recommendation about what type of formulation is best for you.

Don’t let dental discomfort derail your plans. Our Elmhurst dentists are here to help you, regardless of the current state of your smile. Call our office or use the Contact Us page on our site to reach us!