Preventing Tooth Pain: Causes and Treatment of Tooth Sensitivity

woman suffering from tooth pain

What Is Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity is a type of sharp pain that occurs when a worn or exposed part of the tooth comes in contact with a particular substance, often cold or acidic foods. Each occurrence of pain is generally temporary, but untreated tooth sensitivity is often recurring.

Common Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity can be caused by a wide variety of issues. Some of the most common underlying causes of tooth sensitivity include:

  • Worn or thin tooth enamel
  • Exposed roots
  • Cavities
  • Worn or damaged fillings
  • Cracked or chipped teeth
  • Certain types of gum disease

Man have sensitive teeth with ice on white backgroundWhile many of the common triggers of tooth pain may be misinterpreted as the cause of the problem, these symptoms are more likely to be the results of one of the underlying causes. Some common triggers that often result in tooth pain include:

  • Cold drinks
  • Cold foods, such as ice or ice cream
  • Highly acidic foods, such as oranges, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits
  • Certain ingredients in some mouthwashes, such as alcohol
  • Brushing teeth

Tooth Sensitivity Prevention/Home Treatment Options

Many minor cases of tooth sensitivity can be taken care of at home. Several over-the-counter products or other options are available that can help prevent or reduce tooth sensitivity, such as:

  • Fluoride
  • Special desensitizing toothpaste designed for people with tooth sensitivity
  • Limiting hot, cold, or acidic foods
  • Brushing and flossing teeth more thoroughly

Professional Treatment Options

Severe tooth sensitivity or cases that do not respond well to at-home options may need to be brought to your dentist’s attention. In the case of severe tooth sensitivity, professional treatment options may include:

  • Prescription strength desensitizing toothpaste or other prescription medications
  • Applying bonding resin to exposed roots
  • Root canals, which are intended to target problems deep within the tooth
  • Gum grafts, which cover exposed roots

At Blue Ash Dental Group, we care about helping our patients avoid tooth pain. Contact us today to learn more about tooth sensitivity or to schedule an appointment!

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