Sensitive teeth is one of the most common complaints adults have. When cavities are ruled out, it is usually due to exposed root structure after gums recede. It gets worse after the roots are worn down or eroded by over brushing, grinding, and acids. Gums naturally recede with age, by over brushing, or from gum disease. Whatever the cause – the roots become very sensitive because roots are made of soft, live dentin – no enamel covers roots. If the roots are worn down by erosion, we can cover them artfully with bonding. Then your toothbrush will wear the bonding, and not further into your root. If there is no wear or erosion on the exposed root, then we have various desensitizing products that can be applied chairside, followed by prescription toothpastes, gels, and rinses to bring it under control.
Very often sipping acidic juices, sugary cola beverages, or eating pineapples and grapefruits regularly will bring on generalized tooth sensitivity without any root structure being exposed. This is because all the acid is leaching out the calcium from the enamel. If this goes on for too long the enamel will turn chalky and decay. This is a particular concern when wearing orthodontic brackets, and is a serious problem. Habits must be changed, and then home use of prescription products will bring it under control by remineralizing and desensitizing your teeth. Some areas may need to be filled.
A favorite prescription toothpaste that we sell is Fluoridex. It contains fluoride and potassium nitrate in much higher concentrations than Sensodyne. Another brand, Clinpro 5000 toothpaste contains tricalcium phosphate, a proprietary formulation of calcium that will remineralize your enamel also. PerioMed Rinse, a non-alcoholic anti-bacterial fluoride prescription strength mouthwash is also very popular. It avoids the heavy staining of the Peridex rinses.
So you don’t have to needlessly suffer from sensitivity – come in and find out what’s causing it – and what can be done.