What Can Be Done?
If the sensitivity is due to a cavity, a restoration can be placed. If gum disease is the cause, the dental professional can perform a thorough cleaning of the area.
However, if the cause is from dentin being exposed, then there are a number of professional and at home treatments that can be used to reduce the sensitivity.
In Office Procedures:
- Fluoride varnish can be applied to exposed areas, strengthening the enamel and dentin
- Fluoride foam or gel can be placed into a mouth tray; you then sit with this in your mouth for 3-5 minutes, providing the teeth with a high concentration of fluoride to strengthen the areas
- Bonding agent, the material used to stick tooth colored restorations to teeth, can be used to seal the dentin surface and provide a barrier to the stimuli that cause sensitivity
- Use a very soft bristle tooth brush, with low abrasive tooth paste
- Brush correctly and do not over brush
- Use a tooth paste specially formulated to soothe the nerve endings in the tooth
- Use a high concentration fluoride toothpaste (given to you by the dental professional) to strengthen the tooth surface
There are a number of treatments available, and your dental professional can help you find those that will work best, depending on your situation. Always seek a dental professional's help - do not try to diagnose this problem yourself. It may be the sign of something more serious, and only a dental professional can tell you what it really is.
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Dr. Lawrence Hagen, DDS
4998 Glenway Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45238