Do you have sensitive teeth? According to studies, about 40 million Americans do! Here at our Lower Manhattan dental practice, we routinely see patients with sensitive teeth and, you’ll be glad to know, we have solutions for them!
The tops of your teeth are protected with a layer of enamel. Beneath the gum line is another layer, called cementum, which protects the root. Beneath the enamel and cementum is dentin, which contains microscopic channels that support the enamel and surround the pulp, where nerves are located. If the enamel and/or cementum becomes thin or fractured, or if the gums recede, the dentin cannot adequately protect the nerves and cells within the tooth from the discomfort of acidic, sweet, hot or cold beverages and foods as well as inhaled cold air. The result: hypersensitivity.
Symptoms of Sensitive Teeth
If you experience discomfort or pain when your teeth are exposed to sweet, sour, acidic, hot or cold foods or beverages, or when inhaling wintry air, you may have sensitive teeth! There are numerous causes, however, some of which are easily treated, like switching to a softer toothbrush, avoiding too-frequent whitening sessions, and removing plaque or filling a cavity, while others require more advanced dental treatment to eliminate your discomfort.
Causes of Sensitive Teeth
- Tooth decay
- Plaque build-up
- Worn tooth enamel
- Exposed tooth root
- Using a too-hard toothbrush
- Brushing with abrasive agents
- Receding gums/gingivitis
- Fractured or cracked teeth or fillings
- Clenching or grinding the teeth, called bruxism
- Abuse of teeth-whitening procedures
- Recent dental procedure
Treatments for Sensitive Teeth
You don’t have to live with sensitive teeth! Depending upon the cause of your sensitivity, our New York City dentists can lessen or completely resolve dental sensitivities with one or a combination of these methods:
- Desensitizing toothpaste
- Application of sealants, fluoride gel or Gluma to decrease sensitivity
- Crowns, inlays or bonding to correct decay or flaw in the tooth
- Gum graft if gum tissue has been lost from the root
- Laser treatments
- Root canal if sensitivity is severe and unabated by the above methods
What To Do If Your Teeth Are Sensitive
Before making the assumption that you may have hypersensitive teeth, consider the possibility that you have a cavity or other dental problem that we need to evaluate and treat here in our Manhattan cosmetic dentist practice. Therefore, if you experience sensitivity in your teeth for more than 3-4 days, call our office at 212-267-1884 for an appointment. Upon examination, we’ll be able to diagnose the cause of your sensitive teeth and create a plan of action to help you!
To your healthy, beautiful smile,
Jeffrey Shapiro, DDS, PC and Glenn Chiarello, DDS
NYC Cosmetic Dentists