Treating Sensitive Teeth

November 2, 2016

Sensitive Teeth If you have bitten into something hot or sipped a cold drink and felt pain in your teeth, you’re not alone. Sensitive teeth are a common dental problem that affects millions of people. At Strathcona Dental Clinic, Dr. Abdul Wehbe and Dr. Barry Bergh can help you get to the bottom of the problem.

Causes of Sensitive Teeth

The inside of your teeth is made up of dentin, which contains nerve endings. The dentin is protected by the enamel on the outside of your teeth and the cementum, which covers the root surface. The nerve can become exposed if the gum recedes and if the protective enamel wears away. Your gums can recede or enamel can wear away for a variety of reasons. For example, periodontal disease can cause recession of the gums. Tooth erosion can occur due to regularly eating or drinking acidic foods. Tooth abrasion can also occur due to hard, aggressive brushing with a medium or hard bristled toothbrush. Grinding your teeth at night when you sleep can wear the enamel down. Leaky (worn) fillings or new decay can also cause tooth sensitivity. Once the nerve endings are exposed, cold or hot food and drinks may lead to hypersensitivity. In some cases, even breathing in cold air through your mouth can cause sensitivity.

Treating Sensitive Teeth

The first step in treating sensitive teeth is getting to the bottom of the problem. What is the real cause of your sensitivity? It is important to find out what is behind the sensitivity you are feeling? Is it gum recession, enamel erosion, toothbrush abrasion, decay or infection? Our experienced dentists at our Edmonton Dental Clinic will review your dental and medical history as well as perform an exam to determine the cause of your sensitive teeth.

After Dr. Wehbe or Dr. Bergh determine the cause for the sensitivity, they will treat the underlying problem. For example, treatment may involve a relatively easy procedure, such as desensitising an exposed root surface or replacing an old, leaky filling. In other cases, if sensitive teeth are due to major gum loss, a gum graft may be recommended. An additional treatment, which may be suggested includes using a desensitizing toothpaste. The toothpaste contains ingredients that reduce sensitivity by blocking the dentinal tubules. Keep in mind, it may take up to a couple of weeks of use for effective results . Another option may be in-office fluoride varnishes to strengthen the enamel of the teeth.

Preventing Tooth Sensitivity

There are things you can do to decrease your chances of developing sensitive treat. Practice good dental hygiene including gently brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing once a day. Use a soft or extra soft toothbrush and change it every 3 months or as soon as bristles start to flare. Choose a diet that is low in acidic drinks or foods. It is also essential to see your dentist at least once per year. Our Strathcona Dental Clinic team will be happy to answer any question you have regarding sensitive teeth or any other dental concerns. To schedule an appointment, please call our Edmonton Dental Clinic at (780) 433-1154 or visit our website at