(Last Updated On: October 18, 2018)
Remedies for Gum and Sensitive Teeth Problems
Tooth sensitivity is a common dental problem that causes discomfort in teeth when coming in contact with certain substances and temperatures. It is a very common problem and more than 40 million adults suffer from it. The pain is mostly temporary but is often sharp. Sometimes, the pain may shoot to the nerves ending which may cause the pain to increase. However, Sensitivity is a curable condition and can be treated easily.
Causes of tooth sensitivity
There is no one cause behind sensitivity. It is a condition that anyone could suffer from. The most common symptom is when you start feeling a sudden, sharp pain in the teeth as soon as they are exposed to air, cold or hot food, or something sweet and acidic. Some people also feel the sensations during brushing and flossing.
The tooth is protected by enamel which guards dentin, the reason behind healthy teeth, and the tooth roots are protected by our gums. Once the enamel is worn down or the gum line starts receding, the dentin is exposed. Dentin is connected to the nerve that causes pain in the cases of sensitive teeth.
What is Dentin?
Dentin contains microscopic tubules in large numbers. These tubules lead to the tooth’s pulp. When exposed, it sends the heat, cold and acidic substances to the nerves causing pain and sensation.
Other factors that contribute to sensitive teeth include the following:
- Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush. This causes the enamel to wear down which exposes the dentin.
- People who suffer from periodontal disease and gum recession also have exposed dentin.
- Gingivitis is a condition of inflamed and sore gum tissue. People suffering from gingivitis mostly have sensitive teeth.
- Cracked teeth. People who have cracked teeth have the risk of bacteria attack and inflammation in the pulp of the tooth. In some severe cases, it can also lead to infection.
- Excess use of mouthwash- mouthwash is good for health but most of them contain acid. If dentin is exposed to too much acid, it can worsen the sensitivity.
- Dental procedures- In very rare cases, sensitivity can be an after-effect of dental procedures like a crown replacement or root planning. But it is only during the recovery period that they feel the pain.
Tooth Sensitivity after filling
As said earlier, sometimes, tooth sensitivity can be an after-effect of dental procedures. The tooth decay that causes cavities irritates the tooth which makes filling necessary. Usually, the sensitivity is temporary and gradually improves, if it is persistent, it can be cured with the help of a root canal. Sometimes, it can be because of a biting problem. In that case, it can be cured with a simple bite adjustment and if it is because the fillings are too high, it can be lowered by the dentist to solve the problem.
After whitening treatments
Teeth- whitening treatments are done using over-the-counter products that contain harsh chemicals to remove the stains, but they sometimes also remove the enamel. It can be solved by using a low-level red laser after the whitening treatment.
It has also been proven that if a desensitizing gel is used before whitening it can significantly reduce the chances of eradicating enamel during the procedure. I fact, using a less acidic bleaching gel is also a good way to reduce the pain.
Sensitive teeth treatment
Having a tooth problem can lead to various health issues. The pain in the gums and the teeth is heightened especially during the night. This makes it difficult for the person suffering to sleep at night. This can cause fatigue and heart problems for the patient. It is necessary to get even the slightest tooth problem removed as soon as possible.
The following are some home treatments as suggested by the dentists.
- Sensitivity toothpaste – Many brands have launched toothpaste for sensitive teeth. It is better to check the contents of the same before choosing one.
- You may also ask your dentist for a recommendation.
- Make sure you use fluoridated toothpaste instead of tartar control toothpaste.
- Replacing the toothbrush with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Avoiding highly acidic food.
- Using a nonacidic mouthwash.
- Using a mouth guard to prevent teeth grinding.
When the conditions are severe and the home remedies are no longer effective, the following dental procedures can be used to reduce tooth sensitivity.
- Bonding and crowning- Crown is used to cover the damaged part of the tooth. They look like natural teeth and protect the tooth from further damage. They are mostly recommended to people who have undergone a root canal. Bonding, however, refers to the permanent attachment of the dental material on the teeth. There are two types of bonding, direct composite bonding, and adhesive bonding.
- Fluoride varnish- When fluoride varnish is applied to the mouth, it can help to reduce pain and discomfort. It strengthens the enamel and the dentin, further preventing exposure to the nerves. The fluoride varnish is only left for five minutes and it does the trick.
- Surgical gum graft- When the tartar buildup and gum disease lead to receding gums, it is better to call your nearest dentist and get an appointment. The first step that a dentist considers is scaling. The tooth scaling cost is not much and can help in removing the bacterial plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth and root.
- If the recession is more extensive, the dentist would suggest getting surgical gum grafts.
- Root canal- A root canal is the last resort when it comes to treating sensitive teeth. Is it done in extreme cases, when no other treatment comes to use?
There are several ways to treat sensitive teeth. Many dentists suggest that no single treatment works the same for everyone. Proper diagnosis is done to find the reason behind it and the treatment is done accordingly.
When the treatment is done after determining the root cause behind it, the success rate is higher. Without addressing the reason the problem can continue or even get worse.