The moment you take a bite of that delicious chocolate
ice cream you feel it…that nagging, piercing pain shooting through your tooth.
Grabbing your lip, you cringe. While contemplating trying to eat the ice cream
on the other side of your mouth, the thought quickly dissipates as you continue
to experience the effects of your most recent bite. Tooth sensitivity is a
common problem for many adults in the United States, but why? What causes your
pearly whites to feel fine one minute and then have you pushing away anything
hot or cold the next? To find out, hear from a dentist
who explains its causes and what can be done to address it.
What Can Cause Tooth Sensitivity?
Whether you’re eating hot soup, drinking ice water, or
attempting to brush your teeth in the morning, these activities and food items
can irritate sensitive teeth and leave you in pain. Common dental problems such
as exposed tooth roots, worn enamel, or a cavity can be the reason for this new
and unwelcomed pain, but so can the following:
- A chipped or cracked tooth
- A filling that is worn
- Gum disease
No matter the reason for your sensitive teeth, it is important
that you schedule an appointment to see your dentist sooner rather than later.
After all, you do want to get back to enjoying ice cream again, right?
How a Dentist Can Help Your Sensitive Teeth
During your appointment, your dentist will need to examine the
problem area to determine the exact cause of your tooth sensitivity. Based on
his findings, there are various procedures and treatments that may be
- Fluoride Treatment: This common,
painless, and quick application is available for both children and adults
because of its tremendous benefits. By applying topical fluoride to the
sensitive areas of your teeth, it will not only strengthen your tooth enamel,
but it will also alleviate pain. If necessary, your dentist may even suggest
using prescription fluoride at home that can be applied using a customized
- Surgical Gum Graft: This may not sound
pleasant, but if your gums are receding and tooth roots are exposed, your
dentist might consider performing a gum graft, which involves removing a small
bit of gum tissue from another area of your mouth and attaching it to the
- Dental Bonding: If the root surface of
your tooth is exposed, a composite resin can be bonded to this particular area,
- Root Canal: Oftentimes, if no other
procedure is proving effective, and the pain and sensitivity continue to be a
problem, a root canal can remove any areas of the tooth’s pulp (the innermost
layer) and fill it with composite resin. This will eliminate tooth sensitivity and
have you back to your regular self in no time.
Another beneficial product that your dentist might suggest
you use at home is a desensitizing toothpaste. With multiple applications, it
can block the pain that comes with sensitive teeth. Your dentist can suggest
which brand to buy, which will most likely be found at your local drug or
About the Author
Considered one of the top dentists in Northern Virginia, Dr. Wayne Myles has provided comprehensive dental services since 1997. Attending SUNY at Binghamton, he graduated with a degree in biology before going to Georgetown Dental School and graduating in 1990. Helping patients achieve healthier smiles, he and his team can address a wide range of dental problems, providing beneficial treatments as well as tips and at-home techniques to follow. To learn more about Dr. Myles, or for questions about our services, visit our website or call (703) 925-0800.