Tooth sensitivity can be a mild annoyance, or it can greatly interfere with your quality of life. If you suffer from severe sensitivity, every meal can become an occasion of intense discomfort. Fortunately, we offer complete care for tooth sensitivity at our Chino, CA practice. Treatments can vary significantly, depending on the cause of your sensitivity. In some cases, we may simply recommend anti-sensitivity toothpaste, but in other situations, we may perform a more extensive procedure, such as dental bonding. The team at Value Dental Centers Chino will conduct a complete consultation to determine the cause of your sensitivity. Then they can choose the most appropriate remedy for you.
The Basics of Tooth Sensitivity
Every tooth is composed of four layers. The hard outer enamel forms a protective shell for your tooth. Beneath that is the dentin, which is the largest layer. Small openings, or tubules, in the dentin contain tiny nerve endings. Pulp is found in the center of your tooth. This tissue contains blood vessels and larger nerve endings. The nerves run from your pulp down along your dental roots. A second protective layer of tissue, called cementum, covers your roots.
Dental sensitivity occurs when your enamel wears away, exposing the nerve endings in the dentin. As a result, you may experience a sharp pain or an aching sensation. Sensitivity will typically worsen when your teeth are exposed to cold air, foods, or beverages.
Causes of Dental Sensitivity
There are a number of factors that can contribute to nerve exposure and tooth sensitivity. Causes include:
- Bruxism: Chronic teeth grinding and clenching can cause your enamel to wear away
- Frequent consumption of acidic foods: Acids can also erode your enamel. For this reason, a high consumption of soda, citrus, white wine, and similar products can lead to tooth sensitivity.
- Dental damage: A broken tooth or old, compromised filling can expose your dentin.
- Improper brushing: If you brush too hard or use a hard bristled brush, it can wear away your enamel.
- Periodontal disease: Advanced gum disease may cause your soft tissues to erode. As they pull away, they will expose your tooth roots, leading to significant sensitivity.
How Can We Ease Tooth Sensitivity
The right option for your sensitivity will depend on the underlying cause.
- Night guard: If your sensitivity is the result of bruxism, we will typically provide a night guard. This custom-made appliance will go all the way over your teeth to keep them from grinding together.
- Dental bonding: Bonding can replace lost enamel, whether erosion is due to bruxism, diet, or some other cause. Your dentist will coat your teeth in composite resin. Once it hardens, the material will replace your enamel and blend naturally with the color of your smile. Often, we will perform bonding and provide a night guard at the same time.
- Scaling and root planing: Also known as a deep cleaning, scaling and root planing is the most common treatment for moderate gum disease. Your dentist or hygienist will eliminate pockets of bacteria and smooth the rough places on your tooth roots. This procedure will prevent further gum erosion and exposure of your dental nerves.
- Anti-sensitivity toothpaste or gel: In some cases, there may be no obvious cause for your sensitivity. In these situations, certain products can ease your discomfort. We may also recommend gels or toothpastes in conjunction with other treatments.
Contact Us for the Care You Need
Do not let dental sensitivity impinge on your quality of life. Contact our Chino dental office to learn more about this problem and find out how our team can help you.