Many people suffer from sensitive teeth, making it difficult for them to chew hard foods and drink hot or cold beverages. The Connecticut State Dental Association (CSDA) says that this common condition can be alleviated by employing some simple oral hygiene practices.
“We see patients with hypersensitivity in their teeth often,” said Dr. Michael Ungerleider, CSDA President. “It’s caused over time when gums recede or enamel is worn away. When that happens, the dentin, or soft inner part of the tooth, becomes exposed and makes it easier for triggers like cold drinks to reach the tooth nerve. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, we recommend you see your dentist for treatment.”
Gum recession can be caused by lack of proper oral care such as not brushing after meals, flossing infrequently or not having your teeth professionally cleaned. Gum recession can also be caused by aggressive brushing. Enamel wear is most often caused by teeth grinding and consumption of foods and drinks high in acidity. Some tooth whitening can cause sensitivity, as can cavities and cracked fillings.
“The good news is that there are usually simple ways to treat sensitive teeth,” continued Dr. Ungerleider. “You can use desensitizing toothpaste or fluoride gel available from your dentist or at most pharmacies and supermarkets. Making sure that you brush after meals and floss every day will help to keep your gums and tooth enamel healthy. However, the sensitivity may be caused by an underlying gum disease, so always visit your dentist if your teeth continue to hurt when you drink something really hot or cold.”
Dentists can identify if more serious medical treatment is required, like restoring a tooth with a filling or crown or providing a surgical gum graft or possibly a root canal.
“We advise that patients to take action if they have any sort of tooth sensitivity,” said Dr. Ungerleider. “The earlier a problem is detected, the better chance that the problem can be fixed quickly, easily and affordably. Delaying treatment only allows things to get worse.
There’s no reason to suffer when there is treatment to help alleviate the pain.”
About the Connecticut State Dental Association
The Connecticut State Dental Association (CSDA) has approximately 2,300 members. As the trusted leader and voice for oral health care in Connecticut, the CSDA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1864. For more information about the CSDA, visit the Association's Web site at www.csda.com.