Sensitive Teeth

Tooth Sensitivity is defined as a discomfort or pain that occurs during consumption of cold, hot, sour or sweet beverages or foods, or during brushing or flossing. It may also happen during breathing cold air. Tooth sensitivity occurs when enamel (the protective layer on the tooth) is damaged and the second layer of the tooth, called dentin, is exposed. Dentin contains tiny tubules that connect directly with the tooth’s nerve. When it is exposed to the irritating factors, the pain or discomfort may appear.

Tooth sensitivity can be caused by a cavity, worn or chipped teeth, or cracked tooth. Also, gum recession which can be caused by gum disease, bruxism or excessive brushing exposes root surfaces leading to the sensitivity. In addition, dental procedures such as bleaching or recently placed filling can be responsible for tooth sensitivity.

Depending on the circumstances, your family dentist might recommend different solutions. The treatment options include:

  • Fluoride
  • Desensitizing toothpaste
  • Desensitizing varnish
  • White filling/ bonding agent
  • Root canal
  • Gum graft
  • Nightguard

A good way to start to prevent tooth sensitivity from recurring would be to use a soft toothbrush, warm water and gentle brushing. Also, using daily a fluoride rinse and desensitizing toothpaste will most likely elevate the discomfort. Eliminating acidic foods and drinks, such as citric fruits, carbonated drinks, wine and sugary snacks will help to minimize tooth sensitivity.

If you have any questions or concerns, call Dr. Foksa, your Guelph dentist at Downtown Dentistry to find out which treatment options are best for you.