Managing Tooth Sensitivity


At Clark Family Dentistry we understand that some tooth sensitivity can be easy to ignore, as long as you avoid cold or hot food and beverages. However, ignoring it can cause more damage which will be more expensive to fix. There are several causes of tooth sensitivity, such as cavities, worn-down fillings, gum disease, diminished tooth enamel, and possibly exposed tooth roots. No matter the cause it is important to call us and get it checked out as soon as possible. In the meantime there are steps you can take to manage your sensitivity.

The first step to managing tooth sensitivity is calling us to schedule an appointment. Ignoring the sensitivity will lead to more pain and discomfort and potentially worsening decay or expensive treatments, such as a root canal or crown replacement.

Until your appointment with Dr. Beth or Dr. Chris there are several things that you can do to help ease the sensitivity.

  • Try desensitizing toothpaste. The compounds in the toothpaste will block the signals from the tooth surface to the root relieving some of the sensitivity. Make sure to brush properly with a soft bristle toothbrush. It may take several applications to find some relief; however, good oral hygiene will help your entire mouth.
  • To protect your tooth from outside stimuli for awhile use a bonding agent to seal the surface of the tooth.
  • Another way to ease the sensitivity before seeing us at Clark Family Dental is to eliminate or minimize the consumption of acidic foods and drinks. Orange juice, berries, sugar and vinegar are all examples of food and beverages that are high in acidity.
  • Ibuprofen or other generic painkillers, taken as directed on the bottle, can help take the edge off the pain.

During your appointment there are several things that may be done to determine the cause of your sensitivity:

  • To see what could be causing your sensitivity, and to check for cavities, x-rays may be taken of your teeth.
  • At this time a good cleaning may be done to remove bacteria and plaque buildup.
  • Fluoride is also used to reverse early decay and to help strengthen teeth by making the tooth stronger and more able to resist acid attacks from sugars and bacteria that are in your mouth. Fluoride applied in our office is stronger than the fluoride in toothpaste and mouthwash.
  • Either Dr. Beth or Dr. Chris will examine you to see if you need repairs done to your teeth or gums.

If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity or have questions about preventative dentistry please contact Clark Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment today!

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