Tooth Sensitivity Tis the season for sweet treats, hot drinks, and freezing cold temperatures. The holiday season can also be one of tooth sensitivity for all of the same reasons enjoy it! Sugary and sticky foods can be a culprit for that painful zing some of us know that goes along with tooth sensitivity. Hot drinks such as cocoa or that delicious eggnog latte can sometimes stimulate sensitivity in some teeth as well. Even just simply stepping outside in the cold air can cause sensitivity for some when they open their mouth! During the holiday season, everyone wants to be focused on the joy of it all, not tooth pain! Your team at Spokane Dental wants you to know there is a way to help your tooth sensitivity!

The Cause

Tooth sensitivity can be caused by many factors. One of the most common reasons we see tooth sensitivity is from the gums receding, leaving the more sensitive root surface of the tooth exposed. The root surface is not as hard as the crown (enamel), and recession can cause painful sensitivity to hot, cold, and sticky/sugary stimuli.

Any time that the enamel has been worn away essentially the same thing happens: the inside more soft part of the tooth (that is closer to the nerve) is exposed and more sensitive. Enamel can be worn away from grinding teeth, over brushing with a hard bristled or electric toothbrush, or a tooth damaged by a fracture, chip, or cavity. Tooth whitening procedures whether at home or professional can also be culprits for sensitivity because they open up the hard surface of the teeth exposing them to more sensitivity.

The Remedy

When it comes to tooth sensitivity, identifying the cause or culprit of your tooth sensitivity is the key in order to know how to help it. At Spokane Dental, we love helping our patients overcome their tooth sensitivity because we have a passion for aiding our patients in getting out of pain and achieving their best health. We can identify which tooth or teeth are the culprits and why, and recommend tips and treatments that work specifically for each patient.

One of the most used general ways to help (not cure) tooth sensitivity is through “sensitivity relief” toothpaste. There are two widely used active ingredients in sensitivity toothpaste. Potassium Nitrate actually interacts with the nerve and prevents pain signals. Stannous Fluoride blocks the microscopic holes in the tooth surface that relay stimulus signals to the nerve. Sensitivity toothpaste takes daily use, and the length of time of use before patients notice an improvement varies.

Some sensitivity can be cured by treating the cause and not just the symptoms. Again, this is where your Spokane Dental team comes in. If your sensitivity is due to improper brushing, we can guide you to the right toothpaste and way of brushing. If the tooth is damaged, Dr. Smith can fix it and relieve sensitivity. We also have in office fluoride treatments and numbing options and can prescribe a high fluoride toothpaste to use every day for sensitivity.

If you suffer from tooth sensitivity, you do not have to feel stuck and you certainly do not have to suffer through the entire winter season! Call us today to schedule an appointment for us to help you.