If you experience a short burst of tooth pain when eating frozen yogurt or drinking your morning coffee, you may have sensitive teeth due to exposed dentin. Dentin is the layer under the tooth’s enamel containing microscopic tubules filled with nerve endings. Normally, the tooth enamel in a crown protects the more sensitive layer of dentin which lies below, while cementum protects dentin that reaches below the crown to the roots.
Tooth sensitivity--also called dentin hypersensitivity, causes pain when you eat or drink something that is hot, cold, sticky and sugary or acidic, or from breathing in cold air by mouth.
What Your Dentist Can Do:
Since plaque and tartar build up can cause gum disease (which can make the gums recede and expose dentin), you will want to visit your dentist twice a year to clean those pearly whites. Other options your dentist may offer are:
–Composite resins, or white filling (bonding) to cover exposed root surfaces.
–Dentin sealers for exposed roots.
–Fluoride varnish for exposed roots.
What You Can Do:
Acidic Foods: Limit consumption of acidic foods and beverages like soda, tea with lemon, citrus fruits, and pickles.
Toothbrush: Clean your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently, but thoroughly. Take time to floss in between your teeth, where your toothbrush can’t reach.
Toothpaste: Resist using an abrasive toothpaste. Instead, brush with a desensitizing toothpaste to block off the nerve endings in exposed dentin. If it has fluoride in it this can strengthen enamel as well.
Mouthwash: Rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash to fortify tooth enamel and reducing painful sensations.
Bruxism: Wear a night guard if you grind your teeth while you sleep.
Please let us know if you have any questions or would to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists, Dr. Scott Timmons or Dr. Richard Carlson. Contact our caring team at Baxter Dental today at 218-829-4207!