Dental Tips Blog

May
3

Do Sensitivity Toothpastes Actually Work?

Most “whitening” toothpastes don’t work as quickly as you might think.

In other areas, though, your toothpaste is likely well-suited to the task at hand. This includes fighting cavities and preventing plaque buildup.

How about the claim that your toothpaste can make your teeth less sensitive?

What Makes Teeth Sensitive?

Your toothe enamel is covered with small holes. These openings lead to microscopic nerve-filled chambers. Yes, your teeth are alive and filled with tiny nerves.

If your enamel layer wears away because of decay, acid, or mechanical erosion, then those nerves are more likely to be exposed to the outside environment and you may experience tooth sensitivity.  Also, some people experience temporary tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening.

Why Sensitivity Toothpastes Work

Toothpastes formulated to protect sensitive teeth all contain an ingredient called potassium nitrate. This key ingredient blocks up small pores on the surface of your enamel. Reinforce them with a layer of potassium nitrate, and your poor nerves won’t be as exposed to temperature change or acid.

Additionally, sensitivity toothpastes usually contain plenty of fluoride. This mineral is key to strengthening the enamel you do have left, preventing further wear.

How you use the toothpaste is important. If you rinse your mouth with water right after brushing, then you’ll be washing away all those minerals. It’s better to let the paste rest directly on your teeth to give them time to soak it up.

If you struggle with sensitive teeth, then a specially-formulated toothpaste could be worth a try. In all honesty, it does work better for some patients than it does for others, but it can’t hurt to give it a go!

To find out which brand is right for your needs, consult your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd #203
Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 666-3642

Sep
14

Is Sensitivity After a Dental Filling Normal?

Posted in Fillings

White (composite resin) fillings are becoming the most common type of filling these days. But a common complaint that accompanies them is that of sensitivity. If you’ve just had a composite filling placed and have some sensitivity, then rest assured that this is likely normal.

Why does this happen?

What Happens with a Filling

During the filling procedure, you’re usually enjoying the effects of local anesthesia. You don’t feel everything that’s going on. When a cavity is drilled away, the sensitive inner layer of your tooth is exposed. A filling helps protect this delicate area. But your tooth has gone through quite an ordeal!

Once the anesthetic wears off, your tooth may start to ache a bit from the invasion with the drill and filling material. It’s very common for a newly filled tooth to be a little sore for a couple days.

Getting Used to the Filling

With time, your tooth naturally responds to sensitivity by reinforcing itself near the filling margin. You may at first be sensitive to cold, sweet foods, and bite pressure, but these sensitivities should fade.

You can strengthen your tooth by using plenty of fluoride after getting a filling. Fluoride helps remineralize surfaces that were weakened in the filling process.

When to Seek Help

In some cases, sensitivity is a sign that there is a serious problem that needs attention.

  • Is the sensitivity lasting for several weeks after the filling?
  • Do you experience pain every time you bite your teeth together?
  • Does sensitivity persist even after the hot/cold item is removed?
  • Do you have throbbing pain?

These issues could indicate that your tooth needs more attention. Call your dentist for specific recommendations.

Posted on behalf of:
Meridian Campus Family Dental
3201 Willamette DR NE
Lacey, WA 98516
(360) 200-5505

Sep
8

Why Is My Crowned Tooth Sensitive?

Posted in Crowns

If you’ve just had a dental crown placed, then you might be feeling a little sore about it…

Or perhaps you’ve had your crown for years and just now you’re experiencing some sensitivity. Is this normal? Should you do anything about it?

When Sensitivity is Normal

It generally does take time for a tooth to “settle down” and even recover from the change of having a crown placed. Our teeth don’t really plan on having their outer layers removed and replaced!

It’s very typical to experience increased sensitivity in a tooth for a couple of months after it is crowned. But if the sensitivity persists for several months after treatment, then you may need to look deeper into the cause.

Sensitivity Can Indicate a Problem

Sometimes, a dentist will find absolutely nothing wrong with a sensitive tooth. A possible reason for an otherwise inexplicable sensitivity could be teeth grinding. Grinding stresses the tooth under the crown and can even cause gum recession. This exposes the sensitive tooth root structures.

An old crown could have a damaged margin that allows bacteria to get in. This can create a cavity underneath the crown and affect the tooth root, causing sensitivity – not good either!

What You Should Do for a Sensitive Crowned Tooth

A sensitive dental crown can be helped by:

  • Using a sensitivity toothpaste
  • Wearing a mouth guard to prevent grinding
  • Having your bite adjusted

If you notice your sensitivity worsening with time despite your best efforts, then it’s definitely time to seek help! Visit your dentist for an examination if your crowned tooth becomes unusually sensitive. It could be time for an update to your restoration.

Posted on behalf of:
Muccioli Dental
6300 Hospital Pkwy # 275
Johns Creek, GA 30097
(678) 389-9955

Mar
6

Ouch! What to do About Sensitive Teeth

Do your teeth feel a bit sensitive when you’re brushing them?  Does that sip of hot coffee or bite of cold ice cream make you wince?  According to the Academy of General Dentistry, you might be among the approximately 40 million Americans experiencing tooth sensitivity.  What causes food sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity often occurs when tooth enamel is worn down or exposed, such as in areas of gum recession.  Enamel is the protective layer that covers your tooth, shielding delicate dental nerves. When the enamel is worn down, your tooth is vulnerable and sensitive.  There are many possible causes for enamel erosion.

Brushing

Thorough brushing, twice a day is recommended, but perhaps you’re brushing with too much enthusiasm.  When too much pressure is applied or the toothbrush being used has very hard bristles, the enamel or gum tissues can be worn away.

Tooth Erosion From Foods

Do you love oranges, lemons, or soda?  The high amount of acid can negatively affect your tooth enamel, causing it to erode and create sensitive teeth.

Tooth Damage and Decay

A cracked tooth, cavity or old, worn filling makes it easy for bacteria to build up and flourish, causing the enamel to break down further.  The result is a painful tooth that needs your dentist’s attention right away.

Bruxism

Commonly known as grinding or clenching, bruxism is something many unknowingly do, even while sleeping. Over time, bruxism can cause the tooth enamel to be worn down and fractures of the tooth may occur.

Dental Procedures

If you’ve recently undergone a dental procedure such as a crown, filling or teeth whitening, it’s not uncommon to experience some temporary sensitivity.

When experiencing sensitivity, it’s important to consult with your dental office. Only your dentist can help you find the cause and help you get relief from your painful tooth!

Posted on behalf of:
Siena Dental
10075 S Eastern Ave # 107
Henderson, NV 89052-3974
(702) 567-0000

Jul
24

3 Methods to Combat Sensitivity

Sensitive teeth can interfere with enjoying your favorite foods, a tall glass of ice water, or sometimes even smiling outside in cooler weather. If sensitive teeth are a part of everyday life, here are some effective ways to help you eliminate it:

Fluoride Varnish

Professionally applied fluoride varnish can offer sensitivity relief for up to 3 months. Unlike foam or gel fluorides, varnish clings to the teeth for several hours, allowing the minerals to be absorbed within the pores of the tooth. Not only will fluoride combat sensitivity, it will also make your teeth more resistant to decay. 

Sensitivity Toothpaste

Unlike whitening toothpaste that opens up the pores of your teeth and exposes the nerve endings, sensitivity blends of toothpaste block these pores. Small calcium deposits strengthen the tooth and block off the openings that lead to nerve endings. For best results, use a blend approved by the ADA daily for at least two weeks for full effect. Continue using it as your normal toothpaste on a regular basis for long-lasting results. 

Bonding or Grafting

If it’s necessary to physically cover the area of exposed tooth surfaces, dental bonding or gum grafting are the top recommended methods. This prevents the root from being exposed to external stimuli that irritate the hypersensitive nerve fibers present in the porous surface.

There are several different causes of sensitive teeth. Most of the time it is due to using a home whitening treatment (including whitening toothpaste), gum recession, hypersensitive nerve tissues, or even tooth decay. See your dentist regularly for frequent visits to monitor your oral health and keep sensitive teeth at bay.

Posted on behalf of:
Linda King, DDS MAGD
4146 Georgia 42
Locust Grove, GA 30248
(770) 898-8872

May
4

Fighting Tooth Sensitivity at Home

Sensitive teeth can mean anything from gum recession to a cavity. Sometimes there is nothing wrong with your teeth at all, other than having hypersensitive tooth enamel. If your dentist has determined that your teeth are relatively healthy but are just more susceptible to sensitivity, here are a few ways you can battle that discomfort from home:

Stay Away from Whitening Toothpastes

Over the counter whitening products like toothpastes and mouth rinses are one of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity. Always use products as directed or discuss these side effects with your dentist.

Use Sensitivity Toothpastes Regularly

Sensitivity formulated toothpastes are perfect for blocking hypersensitive nerve fibers in the pores of our teeth. Unfortunately they must usually be used for up to two weeks before results are seen, and must continue to be used to maintain these results. 

Don’t Brush Too Hard

Aggressive brushing and scrubbing can make your gums recede, leaving your root surfaces exposed. By nature, root surfaces are much more sensitive to external stimuli. Stick with a soft or extra-soft bristled brush and never so much force that the bristles splay out in all directions. 

Add Fluoride Into Your Routine

Fluoridated mouth rinses can help strengthen your tooth enamel and make it less resistant to cavities and even sensitivity. Most popular mouth rinses do not contain fluoride, as they are formulated for fresher breath, so read the labels carefully.

If tooth sensitivity starts suddenly or feels different than it has in the past, you need to be examined by your dentist. This could be your body’s way of telling you that something else is wrong. Always be sure to schedule a dental check-up every 6 months for early diagnosis and intervention methods that keep your cost of care down.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-1725

May
2

3 Proven Ways to Combat Tooth Sensitivity

Having sensitive teeth can make it extremely painful to do everyday things like:

  • Enjoy a glass of iced tea
  • Brush your teeth
  • Have your teeth cleaned

Knowing how to combat the sensitivity and keep it from returning will help you keep your mind off of your teeth and on other things that are more important. Here are 3 ways to make it happen:

Desensitizing Treatments with Your Dentist

A professional grade fluoride varnish or similar desensitizing gel can give you instant results that last up to 3 months between applications. The treatment not only prevents sensitivity, it also strengthens your enamel and reduces the risk of tooth decay. Varnish can be used on exposed root surfaces or for overall generalized tooth sensitivity. 

Protective Bonding

Composite bonding can be applied over exposed root surfaces, preventing the sensitive area from being stimulated by cold. Just like a tooth colored filling, bonding is made to match your tooth and blend in so that no one else sees it. It will cover areas of gum recession or toothbrush abrasion for effective results in no time. The process usually takes less than an hour to complete. 

Sensitivity Toothpaste

Using a sensitivity formulated toothpaste every day will usually give you adequate results within a week or two of use. Continual use is important, as the toothpaste helps to block the pores of the teeth.

If your sensitivity goes beyond annoying tenderness to cold drinks or air, it’s time to have your smile checked out by your dentist. Other signs of sensitivity could mean there is a more serious problem going on that needs attention.

Posted on behalf of:
Toothmasters
139 Aliant Pkwy
Alexander City, AL 35010
(256) 329-8401

Apr
8

4 Signs It’s Time to See Your Dentist

Does that nagging in the back of your mind leave you unsure of whether or not you need to see a dentist? If you’re behind on your regular check-ups, it’s time to have your smile checked out; but some concerns can even pop up between your routine dental visits. Here are 4 signs that you ought to go ahead and make an earlier trip for a quick exam – just in case.

Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity can come in many different shapes and sizes. Types that your dentist may ask about include sensitivity to cold, heat, pressure, air, or touch. If sensitivity comes on suddenly and is painful, it’s best to have it checked out. 

Something “Doesn’t Feel Quite Right”

You know your body better than anyone else. Even if a tooth doesn’t hurt, people frequently come into the dental office saying a tooth feels “funny” or “not quite right,” only to find out that they were right. It’s best to take action right away, before the problem becomes more significant.

Chronic Bad Breath

Halitosis (bad breath) can be an indication of an underlying dental problem – such as an abscessed tooth or periodontal disease. If swelling, drainage, or tartar buildup is visible, the odor is likely due to bacterial infections that need to be addressed by your dentist.

Tooth Movement

Rapid or gradual tooth movements are an indication that something is going on under the gumlines and within the bone. Neglecting tooth movement can allow the teeth to fall out, wear down or break.

Thankfully some concerns turn out to be nothing minor at all! You only have one smile though, so make the smart decision to have problems like these checked out as soon as possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Springfield Lorton Dental Group
5419-C Backlick Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
(703) 256-8554

May
7

Fluoride Varnish and Tooth Sensitivity

There’s a new way to treat tooth sensitivity, and the results can last up to 3 months! What is it? Fluoride varnish. Varnish is a newer take on fluoride treatments that not only is much more effective at preventing tooth decay, it also helps seal off areas of the teeth that are prone to sensitivity.

Application of the varnish takes just a few minutes. The teeth are cleaned, wiped dry, and then a small brush is used to apply the fluoride varnish along the sensitive areas as well as the rest of the teeth. Although the varnish feels slightly sticky, it provides almost instant results that can last as long as 3 months after application. Some patients find it so effective that they come in between their preventive care appointments for a re-application. It’s also very affordable.

Varnish works by blocking the pores of the teeth and encouraging the minerals to calcify in place, repelling decay and preventing nerve sensitivity. It’s important not to brush your teeth for several hours after the application so that the varnish can stay in place as long as possible. However, you can eat or drink anytime after the application without having to wait.

Patients of all ages can benefit from fluoride varnishes. Many dentists are now replacing traditional forms of fluoride gels with brush on varnish because of how effective it is at repelling decay, rebuilding enamel, and preventing sensitivity. If you’ve tried other types of methods to eliminate symptoms of sensitivity, then it’s time that you gave fluoride varnish a chance. You might just be surprised at the results!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Juban, Juban Dental Care

Google

Jan
28

Dealing With Sensitive Teeth

Posted in Crowns

Sometimes, different  foods or liquids may cause tooth sensitivity.  Tooth sensitivity is often described as all over tooth pain when eating or drinking hot or cold beverages or foods.  Sometimes the pain can be caused from sweet foods, or even exposure to very cold air. This pain almost immediately goes away when you have swallowed and stopped eating or drinking.

There are many different causes of tooth sensitivity.  Things such as tooth decay, broken or fractured teeth, old fillings that need to be replaced, gum disease or exposed roots may all be the cause of tooth sensitivity.  Sometimes, tooth sensitivity is a result of the aging process.  Tooth sensitivity can also be caused from exposure of the dentin, a layer on the tooth that is designed to help protect the teeth.  Grinding of your teeth can also be a cause for tooth sensitivity.  Depending on the cause of the tooth sensitivity, a treatment plan can be developed to help minimize or eliminate pain.

In cases of tooth decay or cavities, filling the cavities almost always helps eliminate sensitivity and pain.  Broken teeth can be restored using a dental crown, and old fillings that are ‘loose’ can be replaced.  Gum disease can be treated through scaling or other means;  all of these treatments have been shown to be effective in treating tooth sensitivity.

If your teeth are sensitive, you should make an appointment to see your dentist. While waiting for the appointment, try eating softer foods and drinks that are at a moderate temperature.  A toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth may also help during this time.

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