Common Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

One of the most common complaints that patients express to us is a feeling of tooth sensitivity. The sensitivity is most often related to temperature (hot and cold) or biting, but can also be brought about by other things. There are many causes of tooth sensitivity that include:

  • Gum recession and root exposure
  • Tooth decay (cavities)
  • Fractured or broken teeth
  • Tooth wear due to habits such as grinding
  • Gum disease
  • Referred sensitivity from muscle soreness

Depending on the type and severity of tooth sensitivity, the recommended treatment may include, but is not limited to:

  • Using a desensitizing toothpaste at home
  • Applying fluoride or other desensitizing agents in the office
  • A filling or a crown to either remove the cause of sensitivity or cover the sensitive tooth
  • A cleaning to help remove deposits of plaque and calculus that may be causing gum irritation
  • Gum graft to cover exposed roots
  • Root canal

Due to the many causes and treatments for tooth sensitivity mentioned above, it is important to discuss these concerns with a dentist to help identify issues specific to your needs.

Protecting Your Smile

Following up on our last blog about prevention, this post is about how dentistry can play into prevention of sports-related injuries.  With the Patriots starting their season and the recent conclusion of the 2012 Summer Olympics, we thought it would be helpful to discuss the importance of wearing mouthguards during athletic competition.

Why should you wear a mouthguard?

  • Many studies have shown that young athletes who do not wear mouthguards experience more injuries to their mouths and sustain more concussions than those who wear mouthgaurds.  It has been estimated that the approximate cost to treat a permanent tooth that comes out of its socket can be upwards of tens of thousands of dollars over a lifetime.

How do mouthguards work?

  • Mouthguards work by absorbing the energy at the site of impact and dissipating this energy elsewhere. By doing this, they help to protect the lips and mouth from bruising, cuts, and scrapes.  They help to protect teeth from breaking, chipping, and being displaced.

What kinds of mouthguards are available?

  • There are 3 types of mouthguards commonly used:
    • Stock – Inexpensive and are pre-formed.  Can be quite bulky and not fit well for many people.
    • Boil and Bite – Can be purchased at many drug stores and sporting goods stores.  They are softened in hot water and then adapted to the mouth and teeth.
    • Custom-fit – Made from a model fabricated in a dental office to your individual mouth.  This typically offers the best comfort as it is designed specifically for your mouth.

What type of mouthguard is best?

  • Simply stated, any type that you will wear consistently is a good mouthguard.  Typically, people prefer the comfort of custom-fit mouthguards made in a dental office over the other types.  However, the other options can be effective if they are worn properly, fit well, and stay in place.  Feel free to inquire more about the process of creating a custom-fit mouthguard at your next dental visit.

Prevention! Prevention! Prevention!

In addition to your oral hygiene program at home, regular dental checkups and continuing dental care are the foundation for maintaining optimum oral health and helping you keep your teeth for a lifetime.

It is a common misconception that the lack of dental pain means that all is well.  This is not always the case.  There are many dental problems – not accompanied by pain – which could require treatment.

Cavities, cracked and defective fillings, gum problems, and worn or fractured teeth could be detected and treated in the course of regular care before they become significant problems.

In addition, regular dental care gives you a chance to establish a dental home and enables you to discuss oral health issues of concern to you as they arise.  You can discuss your specific needs with your dentist and hygienist to help develop the best plan for maintaining excellent oral health.

Our emphasis on prevention is the core of our dental health program.  We recognize its fundamental importance and hope you will too.  It is a critical part of keeping your teeth healthy for a lifetime!

Welcome to our Website!

We are excited to have our new website up and running.  Please take the time to browse our site to learn about our practice, services and philosophy of dental care.

We welcome all of our patients (prospective, new, and established) to learn more about our dental family.

This blog and future postings will serve as an extension of our website and we hope you find them interesting and educational.