What Causes Tooth Sensitivity & How is it Treated?

With the weather changing, many may notice that the cold air is causing a sharp pain at the base of a tooth. This could be the result of tooth sensitivity, but what exactly does that mean?

Tooth sensitivity can occur for many reasons

  • Tooth decay AKA cavities
  • Cracked teeth
  • Worn fillings
  • Exposed tooth root from receding gums
  • Worn enamel and cementum

Cementum.png

The leading cause of tooth sensitivity is the erosion of enamel and cementum. Your enamel is a hard substance that covers the surface of your tooth. Its job is to protect the tooth above the gum line from everyday life. The job of the cementum is quite similar except its responsibility lies beneath the gum line. The cementum covers and protects the roots as well as a more delicate layer of the tooth known as the dentin.

 

Dentin has small fluid-filled tubes that connect directly to nerve endings underneath the gum line. When the cementum is eroded, the dentin has a higher exposure to the elements. Which causes pain and sensitivity to hot and cold components that may not have been there before.

 

Fear not, having sensitive teeth is very common and treatable. The treatment you receive is based on what is causing the sensitivity. Common treatments are:

 

  • Desensitizing toothpaste: After multiple uses, it starts to block the pain linked with sensitive teeth.Hot vs Cold.png
  • FluorideThis treatment is applied by your dentist to different parts of your teeth to help strengthen your enamel.
  • Root Canal: If decay is present in the root. Your tooth will be cleaned out and packed with a filling. After that, a crown is set on top to protect the tooth from further damage.
  • Surgical Gum Graft: This is used when root exposure is the cause of sensitivity. Soft tissue is taken from another part of your mouth and used to fill in the gaps. Since there are many types of gum recession, your oral surgeon will recommend which solution is best for your health.

With sensitive teeth it is very important to not neglect your dental hygiene; this can cause your condition to get worse as well as running the risk of developing (or worsening) gum disease. Remember to brush twice a day, floss at least once, and come in for your checkup twice a year. If you are experiencing pain due to tooth sensitivity schedule an appointment for yourself right away!

 

Dr. Ernesto Mireles

Greenfield and Salinas Dental Implant Center

608 E. Boronda Rd., Suite B
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3524
            and
696 Walnut Ave., #1
Greenfield, CA 93927
(831) 674-5501

Root Canal Post Treatment Care

Guy Tooth Pain

Post treatment care is essential for the health and longevity of your tooth after a root canal. Luckily, the care is not complicated. A tooth that receives appropriate endodontic treatment followed by proper care can last as long as your natural teeth.  It is normal to feel tenderness at the site of the root canal and in the jaw for a few days after your oral surgery. This discomfort is temporary and usually responds well to pain medications. Following these simple guidelines post-treatment will ensure a smooth and successful recovery and reduce the tenderness as you heal.

After Oral Surgery Healing Guidelines

  • Immediately following the procedure, avoid chewing and drinking hot liquids until the numbness wears off. This prevents damage to the treated tooth and the soft tissues of your mouth.
  • Control discomfort by taking your prescribed pain medication. If antibiotics are prescribed, take as directed even after symptoms subside.
  • Should a temporary filling be placed between appointments to protect the tooth, occasionally a piece will wear away or break off. However, if the entire filling falls out, please notify our office to schedule a replacement.
  • Your tooth may feel different from your other teeth for some time after treatment. If you have moderate pain or pressure lasting more than a few days, contact us immediately.

shutterstock_215264146A root canal is only the first step to returning your tooth to full capacity. A final restoration is still necessary to ensure life-long function. Schedule an appointment with us for the restoration as soon as possible.  After the tooth has been restored, continue practicing proper oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing with regular dental visits. Call today if you have questions regarding your root canal, or post treatment care.

Dr. Ernesto Mireles
Salinas Dental and Implant Centers

608 E. Boronda Rd., Suite B
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3524
            and
696 Walnut Ave., #1
Greenfield, CA 93927
(831) 674-5501