Tooth sensitivity can occur for several reason. Often the result of enamel or gum erosion, this discomfort can make eating and drinking difficult. You may even avoid some of your favorite foods, knowing that they will cause significant pain. If you suffer from tooth sensitivity, our Chandler, AZ dentists can help. At Value Dental Centers Chandler, we offer several different sensitivity treatments. The right one for you will depend on the cause of your discomfort, but we will always begin with the most conservative option. Treatments can include anti-sensitivity toothpaste, bruxism night guards, dental bonding, and more. We will also explain the underlying cause of your discomfort, helping you take steps to avoid future irritation.
Dental Anatomy and Tooth Sensitivity
To understand dental sensitivity, you should have a basic understanding of the structure of your teeth. Each tooth has four layers. The outer layer, or enamel, is a hard layer of tissue that will protect the inside of your tooth from decay. Dentin is the next layer. It has small openings, or tubules, that contain tiny nerve endings. Below that, in the center of your tooth, is the pulp. These soft tissues contain additional nerve endings for larger nerves that run down through your root canals. A fourth layer, called the cementum, will cover your roots.
Sensitivity can manifest itself differently. However, in many cases, discomfort will worsen when you bite down or eat very cold foods.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity usually occurs when your enamel starts to wear away, exposing the nerve endings in your dentin. Often, bruxism, or chronic teeth grinding and clenching, will erode your dental enamel. If you grind your teeth, you will typically do so at night. In many cases, it is your body’s response to anxiety as you attempt to release excess stress hormones. In other cases, you could grind your jaw because of dental misalignment or missing teeth. A highly acidic diet can also damage your enamel.
Alternatively, gum erosion can lead to dental sensitivity. As your gums start to wear away, it will expose your delicate roots. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of gum recession.
Various Treatment Options for Tooth Sensitivity
The right treatment for you will depend on the cause of your sensitivity. If possible, we will begin with anti-sensitivity toothpastes or gels. However, if these products are not effective, you may require more extensive care.
- To treat bruxism, we will typically recommend a night guard. The device will fit over your teeth to keep you from grinding them while you sleep. Often, we can combine a night guard with orthodontic treatment to realign your bite.
- We may also need to replace your worn enamel through dental bonding. Your dentist will apply composite resin to your teeth, building up the recessed areas and covering up your sensitive nerves.
- If you have a severely worn or cracked tooth, you may require a dental crown. Often, we can create and attach a crown in less than an hour.
- You may require periodontal treatment if gum erosion is the cause of your discomfort. Scaling and root planing is one of the most common treatments for periodontitis. With this procedure, your dentist will remove pockets of bacteria from your gums.
- Along with these treatments, we may also recommend dietary changes. For example, you may want to eliminate sodas and other acidic products that can erode your enamel. You can also cut back on sugars to reduce your risk for recurring gum disease.
Contact Us and Put an End to Your Discomfort
You do not have to suffer from chronic dental sensitivity. Contact Value Dental Centers Chandler to learn more about how we can help.