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Why Are My Teeth So Sensitive?

It strikes when you are sipping a hot drink, eating a piece of candy or breathing in through your mouth on a cold day. Tooth sensitivity can be a painful condition that affects your quality of life. It can also be a sign of a more serious problem, and when you experience sensitivity regularly, it may be time to see a dentist in Phoenix, AZ.

What Causes Sensitivity?
Teeth become sensitive when weakening enamel, receding gums or other factors expose the root of a tooth to irritating substances. The most common sensitivity triggers are hot and cold foods, exposure to cold air, acidic foods and sugary foods.

Root exposure can be caused by:
• Overzealous brushing or brushing immediately after consuming acidic foods
• Using too much mouthwash
• Consuming a lot of acidic foods
• Grinding your teeth
• Tooth whitening products
• Plaque buildup
• Tooth damage and decay
• Recent dental work

When Should I Be Concerned?
Occasional sensitivity can be treated with a specially formulated, over-the-counter toothpaste. Anti-sensitivity toothpastes contain ingredients that either numb and calm the nerve like potassium nitrate, or block irritating substances from reaching the roots of your teeth in the first place like strontium chloride.

However, you should see your dentist when:
• The pain is severe or lasts more than three days
• Both formulations of anti-sensitivity toothpastes do not work
• You cannot switch back to normal toothpaste after a week or two

What Can My Dentist Do To Help?
Once your dentist identifies the cause of your sensitivity, he or she can develop a treatment plan that will work for you.

Common treatment plans include:
• Fluoride
Applied as a gel or varnish, or given as a prescription to use at home, fluoride helps re-mineralize and strengthen weakened enamel. Stronger enamel means less exposure to irritating substances.
• Dental bonding
When the root surface is clearly exposed, your dentist may cover it up again with a tooth-colored, dental resin.
• Gum grafts
When too much gum tissue has been lost, a small amount can be taken from a healthier area of the mouth and patched over the affected spot, covering up exposed roots.
• Dental prosthetics
Crowns, inlays and other prosthetics can cover the damage that left the root exposed.

The sooner you talk to your dentist about your sensitivity, the simpler your treatment plan can be. Put in a call to your dentist or endodontist in Phoenix, AZ, and put yourself on the path to relief.

 




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