Dr. Lon Riemer is your St. Albert dentist, focusing on family dentistry, emergency dentistry, pediatric dentistry and much more.
Sensitive teeth are very common and will range from occasional, localized and short-lived cold sensitivity, to extreme and lasting pain to hot, cold, air, sweets, and biting pressure.
For the mildly annoying cold sensitivities, where there are no cavities or cracked tooth problems, there is usually an exposed root surface present due to gum recession. New or increased sensitivities should be checked out for an obvious cause or problem.
If no problems are found, a few things you can try on your own are:
– Use a toothpaste that is labeled for sensitive teeth for at least two weeks.
– Use a soft toothbrush.
– Use a less intense setting on your electric toothbrush.
– Wear your nightguard if you have one.
If gum recession is found to be the cause:
– We can apply a fluoride varnish to the sensitive root surfaces. This helps by plugging up the microscopic pores on the tooth root surface.
– Sometimes other root surface treatments can reduce sensitivity.
– Sometimes gum recession can be corrected with gum grafting.
If a cavity is found to be the cause:
– A cavity should be repaired with a filling if possible, then see if the sensitivity resolves.
If a cracked tooth is found to be the cause:
– Sometimes a new filling will be recommended as a first solution attempt.
– Larger cracks may require a crown or even a root canal to resolve the sensitivity.
– Some tooth cracks are not repairable and require tooth extraction.
If clenching or grinding is found to be the cause:
– Sometimes sensitive teeth can be caused by your bite and could require a bite adjustment or a nightguard.