Is There a Procedure That Can Reduce Sensitivity In My Teeth?

For people who have sensitivity of the teeth, a number of options are available to remedy the situation. Before a dentist can properly treat the sensitivity or pain, however, he must first properly diagnose the cause, according to Dr. William B. Thompson DDS, a cosmetic dentist in Tukwila, Washington.

Without knowing what is causing the tooth sensitivity, it is nearly impossible for a dentist to properly treat it. Rather than simply masking the pain, a good dentist will always try to stop whatever is creating the painful symptoms to begin with. Thompson says that tooth sensitivity could be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from gum recession—where the root of the tooth has become exposed—to tooth cracking, leaky fillings, and leaky restorations.

Although there are also a number of oral diseases that can cause tooth sensitivity, Thompson prefers to rule out the more mundane and easily treatable conditions first. He tells us that a leaky restoration—which would include any previous dental work that is beginning to wear down—is a common reason why many of the patients he sees in Tukwila will visit a cosmetic dentist for this type of treatment.

Thompson says that proper diagnosis to determine the actual cause of the tooth sensitivity is the single most important element of this type of case. An experienced cosmetic dentist like Thompson will think about how to best treat the tooth pain rather than simply prescribing a medication to mask the symptoms of an underlying problem.

Luckily, most of the treatments that Thompson ends up recommending to people to get rid of their tooth sensitivity issues are easy, over-the-counter remedies. The most common cause of tooth sensitivity among patients Thompson sees is root exposure, where the gum has receded and exposed too much of the tooth and root. Those areas in particular tend to become sensitive when the patient eats or drinks products with high levels of acidity. Because of this, Thompson’s recommendation to stop the pain is to simply stop eating and drinking the things that are causing it.

Beyond that, however, a cosmetic dentist will usually recommend that patients try out some de-sensitizing products. A number of effective de-sensitizing toothpastes and mouthwashes are available over the counter, and they can work really well for some patients whose gums have receded over time.

Another option worth trying out, according to Thompson, is to apply fluoride to the teeth. Fluoride helps more than just people with root exposure; it can also be effective for people with cracking and leaking issues as well. There are certain fluorides that patients can apply to their teeth and gums to help diminish the sensitivity and pain. The specific product that a dentist will recommend can vary from dentist to dentist and patient to patient, usually depending on what exactly is causing the oral pain to begin with.

Finally, if neither of those options is effective, then there is a dental procedure that can reduce the pain to a great degree. Thompson explains that a dentist can put a protective coating over the root surface near the tooth to make the area less sensitive and prone to pain. This protective coating—known professionally as a dental sealant—effectively seals the root surface to prevent any of the acidic foods and drinks from getting onto the gum and causing the patient pain.

Thompson emphasizes, however, that a good cosmetic dentist should work thoroughly to properly diagnose the cause of the tooth sensitivity before moving on and trying to find a treatment. Only with a proper diagnosis can the tooth sensitivity be properly resolved.

*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.

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