A breath of crisp winter air, a sip of hot cocoa, a bite out of a sweet candy cane — all of these have two things in common: They remind us of the rapidly approaching holiday season, and though less pleasant, each can also trigger the sharp, unexpected pain associated with tooth sensitivity.
What Is Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is experienced as a sharp, sudden pain that is felt in the tooth and gum areas. It occurs when gum and enamel loss expose the sensitive surface of the teeth that lie beneath, called dentin. Dentin is less dense than enamel and contains thousands of tubes that lead to the tooth’s nerve center, called the pulp. Once the protective cover is lost, heat, cold, and sweet and acidic foods can reach the nerves inside the tooth through the tubes, eliciting a pain response. Fortunately, once the cause of tooth sensitivity is identified, there are options for treating it and restoring optimal oral comfort.
Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
Some of the things that lead to tooth sensitivity include:
- Overbrushing, brushing too hard, or brushing with a hard-bristle toothbrush
- Grinding and clenching teeth
- Tooth decay located near the gumline
- Plaque buildup
- Tooth-whitening products
- Gum disease
- Fractured tooth
- Dental work
Preventing Tooth Sensitivity
The key to preventing tooth sensitivity is maintaining good oral-hygiene practices. Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and rinsing regularly will go a long way toward keeping your gums and teeth healthy and strong. The following are additional steps you can take for reducing tooth sensitivity:
- Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently
- Avoid foods and beverages that are acidic
- If you grind your teeth, talk to your dentist about getting a mouth guard to wear when you sleep
- Brush with toothpaste for sensitive teeth
- Keep your enamel strong by using products with fluoride
Treating Tooth Sensitivity
The manner in which tooth sensitivity is treated largely depends on the condition that led to it or the situation that is causing it. If sensitivity is resulting from a cavity or a chip in a tooth, a restoration can be placed to fix it. However, if sensitivity results from exposed dentin, there are treatments designed to reduce the discomfort.
- Fluoride varnish can be applied to the vulnerable, exposed areas of your teeth.
- A mouth tray with a high concentration of fluoride in the form of foam can be placed in your mouth for five minutes. This treatment strengthens weak areas.
- The bonding agent used to adhere restorations to teeth can be used to put a protective seal over the surface of the dentin.
- Gum tissue can be moved from one area of the mouth to an area where tissue has been lost from the root with a gum graft.
If you think you might be suffering from gum sensitivity, call us today at (661) 952-7865 to set up an appointment and find out more about what you can do to restore your oral comfort before the holidays hit.
A recent experiment has led some researchers to suggest that wine may help fight dental cavities. In the experiment, cultures of various types of cavity-causing bacteria were grown as bio-film, then submerged in a variety of liquids, including red wine with and without alcohol, as well as wine spiked with grape-seed extract. All the variations of wine were the most successful at getting rid of bacteria.
There are a couple of factors that contribute to this much-beloved libation being effective at cavity fighting. The antioxidants present in grape-seed extract can improve your overall health, but the key to wine’s effectiveness is its substantive ability to remain on teeth for an extended length of time. Wine’s high substance gives its antioxidants all the time they need to fight harmful bacteria.
But before any wine lovers raise a glass to celebrate yet another reason to have a glass, be warned that what makes wine good for your oral health also makes it problematic for the aesthetic integrity of your teeth. It’s true that ingredients in wine can lead to fewer dental cavities; however, it also causes discoloration. That’s right. While drinking wine regularly may fight dental cavities, it also stains teeth. This news may put a damper on your celebratory mood, but do not dismay — you can still enjoy your favorite merlot. There are a variety of teeth-whitening treatments that will keep your smile bright white and looking its best.
From teeth whitening strips to rinses to in-office bleaching, there is a wide array of fast and affordable solutions for stained teeth. So go ahead and indulge in a glass of your best cabernet at dinner tonight, and then call Dr. Weber today at (661) 952-7865 to find out how you can maintain a bright smile with a glass in hand!
Of all the ways a person can convey confidence and happiness, a powerful, gleaming smile might be the most instantaneous. A bright, white row of perfectly aligned teeth is not only beautiful but also mesmerizing. It’s hard to turn away from a stunning smile — do you have one that you love to proudly display?
Few people are blessed with a perfectly aligned, bright smile, but our Lancaster, CA dental office has helped many happy patients achieve one. Through a process we call “smile design,” we can transform your mouth using the artistry of our dental healthcare professionals to create a gorgeous grin that you’ll never want to hide. So what does smile design entail?
- Performing consistent cleanings and root scaling to make sure teeth are healthy and cavity free
- Filling cavities and putting a stop to other signs of decay
- Restoring damaged or missing teeth with crowns or implants
- Creating veneers for teeth that have intense staining or are misshapen
- Treating misaligned teeth with an alignment-therapy method
- Whitening the teeth using in-office procedures that can immediately brighten teeth by an average of eight shades
Not everyone will pursue the same smile design process; having just one of these procedures done can vastly improve the quality of your oral health and your confidence.
If you’re wondering which procedures would be most helpful in achieving your perfect smile, set up a cosmetic dental evaluation with Dr. Weber today. After you tell Dr. Weber what you’re looking for, he will discuss our guidelines and cover the unique changes he can make to your teeth to turn the smile of your dreams into a reality. Please call our Lancaster, CA dental office at 661-952-7865 or complete our online form to request an appointment and find out what the latest advances in cosmetic dentistry can do for your smile!