What causes tooth sensitivity?

dentistry CharlottesvilleFor many people suffering with tooth sensitivity, enjoying a meal without pain seems impossible – especially if one is eating ice cream or drinking a hot cup of coffee. Due to wear and tear and common oral health conditions, many folks develop tooth sensitivity and its symptoms can range in severity. Thin tooth enamel, gum disease, and exposed roots of teeth can cause tooth sensitivity. Restorative and preventive dentistry treatments can help minimize discomfort and improve oral function.

How can restorative and general dentistry help?

If tooth sensitivity can be treated with general dental work, a patient may receive sealants to close up the tiny tubules inside exposed dentin (which relay sensations of discomfort to and from the nerves) or fluoride treatments to strengthen enamel. When a tooth’s roots being exposed cause tooth sensitivity, a patient will be evaluated for gum disease, and if necessary, will receive periodontal treatment. If tooth decay or injury is responsible for tooth pain, a restoration like a crown or filling will be placed.

How can oral surgery improve tooth sensitivity?

When tooth sensitivity is caused by receding gums from periodontal disease or severe damage to the tooth such as an infected root canal or abscess, an oral surgeon may need to perform an extraction. This procedure involves removing all of the tooth’s structure including its roots. After a patient has healed from an extraction, our team may suggest replacing the lost tooth with a dental implant.

What can I do at home to improve my symptoms?

There are a few ways you can improve symptoms at home. First, patients should avoid over brushing their teeth and/or brushing too vigorously as these actions can damage gingival tissue and ultimately expose the roots of teeth to irritants in the mouth. Some patients may benefit from using toothpaste and mouth rinses formulated specifically for sensitive teeth as well.

If a dentist has recommended that you consult with an oral surgeon for tooth sensitivity, call our office, Charlottesville Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center, to reserve an appointment with our caring staff.