Shawn L. Thompson, DDS, Inc.
(418) 287 - 3205

Sensitive Teeth

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Relief for Sensitive Teeth

Do you suffer from Dentin Hypersensitivity, or more simply, sensitive teeth?

Many people struggle with sensitive teeth and experience discomfort or pain while chewing certain foods or when their teeth are exposed to hot or cold temperatures. Continue reading for our recommended tips to prevent sensitive teeth and treatment options for those suffering from this condition.

Symptoms of Sensitive Teeth

The leading symptom of Dentin Hypersensitivity is tooth pain or discomfort. Causes to your specific sensitivity may vary, but common triggers include chewing hard or tough foods; eating sweet, sour, or acidic foods; exposing your teeth to hot or cold temperatures like when drinking coffee or eating ice cream; or even the slight pressure that occurs when brushing and flossing.

Smiling woman holding her jaw with both hands.

Causes of Sensitive Teeth

Ever wonder what causes sensitive teeth?

Worn tooth enamel and exposed tooth roots cause Dentin Hypersensitivity. Erosion of the enamel that protects your teeth, makes them sensitive. When the underlying layer of your teeth and the roots connecting to the nerve center are exposed, you feel pain or discomfort.

Cavities, cracked or chipped teeth, receding gums, Gingivitis, and some dental procedures also contribute to sensitive teeth. Sensitive teeth can also be caused by clenching and/or grinding of the teeth and jaws. It's also not uncommon to experience temporary tooth sensitivity after fillings, but it usually dissipates after two weeks.

How to Treat Sensitive Teeth

Concerned about your sensitive teeth? Visit us at our Pemberville or Maumee offices. Our staff identifies the causes of your tooth pain and might recommend one or more effective treatments:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste: After several applications, desensitizing toothpaste helps block the pain of sensitive teeth.
  • Fluoride: Our fluoride applications strengthen tooth enamel and reduce pain.
  • Desensitizing/Bonding: We treat exposed and sensitive root surfaces with bonding resin.
  • Surgical Gum Graft: We take a small amount of gum tissue from your mouth and attach it to the site. This reduces sensitivity.
  • Root Canal: If other treatments do not work, we recommend a root canal. It is the best technique to eliminate tooth sensitivity.

Prevent Sensitive Teeth

Good oral hygiene helps prevent tooth sensitivity. Schedule regular dental visits with our staff. During these check-ups, we will look for the onset of tooth sensitivity. At home, avoid scrubbing your teeth too hard, using an abrasive toothpaste, clenching or grinding your teeth, and excessive brushing and flossing. Postpone brushing immediately after eating or drinking acidic substances. And remember to floss your teeth daily!

Additionally, we recommend limiting your daily intake of acidic foods and drinks including, carbonated beverages, citrus fruits, wine, and yogurt. Using a straw when enjoying drinks such as soda or fruit juice also helps to limit the contact of the acidic liquid with your teeth. Drinking milk or water is another way to help balance the acid levels in your mouth. It is important to use safe products, such as fluoridated toothpaste and sugar-free chewing gum with Xylitol.

If you've experienced tooth sensitivity before, you can help to prevent recurrence by brushing twice per day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.

Hand putting toothpaste on a toothbrush.

Teeth Whitening & Sensitive Teeth

If you have sensitive teeth, we recommend you postpone any teeth-whitening treatments. Most at-home whitening products use abrasives such as silica. These ingredients erode tooth enamel, trigger sensitivity, and cause irritated and receding gums. Additional ingredients such as polyethylene, sodium hydroxide, propylene glycol, and ammonium hydroxide irritate sensitive teeth.

Receding gums, Gingivitis, and cracked teeth are some causes for tooth sensitivity that can reduce your eligibility for whitening treatments.

Whitening Teeth: Seek Professional Guidance

We know you want a beautiful, white smile. Our professional staff is here to help. Please consult with us prior to beginning a teeth-whitening treatment or regimen. Using our personal knowledge of your dental history, we can discuss all of the at-home and in-office whitening options and recommend the one that is best for you.

What If We Say “No” to Teeth-Whitening?

If you suffer from gum disease, we do not recommend whitening. We encourage you to allow us to treat the infection first. Once it heals, you can start a teeth-whitening program. We recommend the same if you have cavities. We want to fill them before you begin a whitening regimen.

The good news is a teeth-whitening program is not out of the question. We treat most dental problems and, when the time is right, you will be clear you to begin a whitening program.

Is There Hope for Those with Teeth Sensitive to Whitening?

Your tooth sensitivity is no reason to lose hope for a white smile. Our Crest 3D White Whitestrips Gentle Routine provides mild whitening. Just five minutes per day gives you a painless, effective, and beautiful smile.

We Make Your Sensitive Teeth Strong and White

We treat patients with sensitive teeth each day at our Pemberville and Maumee offices. Our team of dental professionals recognize the symptoms and causes of this condition, and recommend effective prevention and treatment regimens. Need the sensitivity to go away? Want the confidence of a beautiful white smile? Contact us today to start a treatment program to keep you smiling!

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