Does Sensitivity Toothpaste Work?
If you were to take the commercial’s word for it, you’d think sensitivity toothpaste was a magic cure-all! In reality, over-the-counter toothpaste may provide some relief from mild sensitivity, but addressing the underlying cause is the only way to truly solve the problem.
Usually, teeth have a layer of super-hard enamel covering the entire visible portion of the tooth (known as the crown). Sensitivity occurs when the inner layer (called dentin) is exposed. This dentin is much more porous and vulnerable to temperature changes, as well as cavities and tooth decay.
If your teeth experience sensitivity to hot or cold foods, you may be avoiding the food you love. Instead of living with this annoyance, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation!
What are the treatment options?
Besides sensitivity toothpaste, treatments involve repairing the damage to the tooth. When tooth roots are left exposed due to gum recession, they lack the protective layer of enamel present on the crown. In these cases, we can use dental sealants to provide the necessary protection. When severe gum recession is present, we may recommend a soft tissue graft to replace the missing tissue.
In other cases, the enamel itself may be missing from the crown of the tooth. This may occur in a particular area with a cavity or decay. Or, the enamel loss may be present across several teeth due to bruxism (clenching and/or grinding of teeth). We repair these problems with either a cavity filling or the appropriate restoration, such as a dental crown, inlay, or onlay. If bruxism is the underlying cause, we’ll also recommend a mouth guard or nightguard to prevent further damage.