Author: Dr. Alison Vitelli, DMD
Did you know July is National Ice Cream Month? I totally get why! HOT North Carolina summer days call for delicious COLD ice cream to cool you down. But, OUCH! Suddenly, your teeth are hurting? You may wonder why. As with any other condition in our body, multiple reasons can cause tooth sensitivity. The most common one being gum recession. This means that the level of the gum has come down, now exposing dentin tubules along the root of the tooth and this area is no longer protected by enamel and that hurts! Recession can be caused by aggressive brushing, habits or excessive biting forces (clenching or grinding your teeth). At its initial stages, recession can be extremely uncomfortable but not deep enough to need extensive treatment. As with any dental treatment, Spring Lake Dental Group strives to be as conservative as possible and tooth sensitivity can be treated by different means. My recommendation to my patients is applying a small amount of any sensitivity toothpaste (active ingredient: potassium nitrate) along the gumline of the sensitive teeth after brushing and flossing. This should be repeated 2 times a day for 2 weeks, without rinsing or eating at least 30 minutes after applying it. Usually, this helps resolve or significantly decrease the sensitivity. If the symptoms are persistent even after trying this then other treatments should be considered including fillings to cover the exposed area or repositioning the gum tissue to its natural anatomical position. Other reasons for tooth sensitivity can include cavities, fractures on the enamel, defective fillings among others so an accurate dental examination should be done before any definitive treatment.
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, please call us today to schedule your next visit and speak with your dentist about your options!