02 Jun Treatments for Sensitive Teeth
In our last blog post, we talked about tooth sensitivity and how you can prevent it. Today we will look at the various treatments for sensitive teeth. If you are experiencing mild sensitivity, there are things you can do at home to treat the pain. Our experienced dentists at Hicks Dental Group in Prescott can provide for you in the office for more severe sensitivity. The good news is that sensitivity is very treatable.
Avoid Harmful Activities and Substances
The first step in treating sensitivity is to avoid anything that could be causing it. Addressing the cause is the most effective way to treat it. This includes switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush, using an alcohol-free mouthwash or skipping it altogether, and avoiding acidic and sugary foods.
If you are still experiencing sensitivity after trying these things, the next step would be to try a desensitizing toothpaste. This is one of the most common and effective treatments for sensitive teeth. Be sure to check with your dentist before trying a new product. We can recommend the right product for you. We can also prescribe stronger desensitizing agents if over-the-counter products aren’t effective for you.
How does it Work?
Desensitizing toothpastes work either by :
- Blocking the nerves in your teeth that cause pain, so the brain doesn’t receive a pain signal
- Blocking the open dentin tubules, acting as a shield for the exposed nerve
How often should I use it?
We recommend using a desensitizing toothpaste twice a day. Using it right before bedtime is a good idea because this will help the toothpaste and active ingredients penetrate your teeth while you sleep.
How long will it take to work?
It may take up to two weeks of use before you experience relief. By using desensitizing toothpaste regularly you will build up a stronger barrier to the tooth’s nerves, lessening or preventing sensitivity over time.
Depending on the cause of your sensitivity, other possible treatments include:
- Fluoride. A 2013 review concluded that most fluoride preparations reduce tooth sensitivity when people use them alongside desensitizing treatments. Try a toothpaste, gel, or mouthwash containing fluoride. We can also apply fluoride varnishes to the exposed root.
- Saltwater rinse. Salt is an effective antiseptic and it can also help to reduce inflammation. To alleviate pain symptoms from sensitive teeth, gargle with a salt water solution twice daily. Add ½ to ¾ tsp of salt to a glass of lukewarm water and mix well. Swish the solution in your mouth for up to 30 seconds before spitting it out.
- Mouthguard. We can fit you with a custom mouthguard if night teeth grinding is the source of your pain.
- Dentin sealers. Dentin sealers can be applied to protect the exposed root surface.
- Treat gum disease. If gum disease is the underlying cause of your sensitivity, treating that will be the most effective way to alleviate your discomfort. Scaling and root planing are non-surgical procedures that cleanse the periodontium, and work very effectively for individuals suffering from gingivitis (mild gum inflammation) and moderate/severe periodontal disease.
- Surgical gum graft. If exposed roots are the cause of your sensitivity, a surgical gum graft may be necessary.
Give us a Call
It is important that you let us know if you have sensitive teeth—even if it is mild—so that we can determine if there is a more serious problem causing it. Once we have a diagnosis, our team at Hicks Dental Group in Prescott can get you on your way to finding relief from your discomfort. Give us a call to set up an appointment today.