Sensitive teeth is one of the number one problems we see in our office. They can make people stop cleaning the teeth in certain areas and avoid cold drinks and ice cream. Some clientele tell my wonderful, sweet hygienist, Lenia to avoid cleaning that tooth or section of teeth. This makes them both pretty edgy. She needs to do her job and the teeth need the plaque film off of them.
So, what is causing it. Teeth have 3 layers – enamel, dentin and the nerve. Even in healthy mouths, gum recession can happen. There is no enamel underneath the gum. The root surface is exposed. This can happen due to a variety of reasons, brushing too hard, or generally how the tooth is positioned in the bone. Another reason sensitivity may occur is due to craze lines in the teeth. Small cracks in the enamel are like cracks in eggs. The cold leaks through the cracks.
When dentin or root surfaces are exposed, there are tiny pores that act like waterslides and shoot the coldness directly to the nerve. What to do? CLOG the Pore. How? Why?
We have varieties of treatments in our office. If it is a root surface that is exposed, we can place a material called a Glass Ionomer at the gum line
We clean the tooth, mix it, place it and shine our light on it. This is not a filling.
Glass ionomers release fluoride into the mouth every time water is drank or you brush with a fluoridated toothpaste.
Fluoride varnishes are the only treatment recommended for children under 6. These are extremely effective. You can eat and drink immediately after placement. Traditional fluoride treatments, in order to be effective last 4 minutes with a waiting period of 30 minutes. The new varnish will help the sensitivity on the root surfaces and surface cracks.
MI paste is a Calcium Phosphate made with milk protein, casein. This works by helping strengthen the teeth. It is not a toothpaste and it is not abrasive. Simple application with a pea sized area placed with your finger twice a day will help.
Prescription based fluoride with a sensitivity relief painkiller like Fluoridex generally helps in these areas as well. Patients who Lenia has placed on this toothpaste really have made their hygiene visit easier on themselves.
A combination of treatments may be recommended depending upon what you have tried in the past. Sensodyne is good. It will cost an average of $48 per six months of sensodyne treatment. Sensodyne is only a pain reliever. It says on the box it is not recommended for long term use.
Let’s help you rebuild and strengthen your teeth!