Teeth Sensitivity

12308362_xlSensitive teeth can be caused by any number of reasons. When the hard enamel of the tooth is worn down, pain can be caused by hot or cold beverages, foods or even exposure to air. If the pain becomes unbearable, consult with your dentist and determine the best course of action. Dr. Rafat Razi, a pediatric dentist in Tracy, says sensitive teeth among children can occur if the enamel of their teeth does not form correctly. “It could be from an environmental insult when their teeth were developing, which can eventually lead to sensitivity to hot and cold products,” she explains.

Stockton’s Dr. Maywell Inong explains the various ways to treat sensitive teeth and the materials used. “There are different types of materials used to seal the root surfaces of sensitive teeth,” she says. “They primarily act by chemically bonding to the dentinal root surface to seal the open pores that transmit temperature and sweet or sour sensitivity to the nerve.” The seal is not permanent and may need to be reapplied every six months due to surface wear. However, the material used is clear and unnoticeable once it is placed.

Whitening strips are also a common cause of tooth sensitivity. Dr. Inong notes that all whitening methods will more than likely cause sensitivity. “Since teeth whitening systems open up the dentinal tubules to draw out stains, sensitivity is likely with all whitening systems. For my patients, I recommend two weeks of desensitizing fluoride toothpaste prior to starting any whitening system if sensitivity is an issue.”

Dr. Razi advises her patients to wait until they have all of their permanent teeth before they consider whitening. “Teenagers may request it,” she admits, “but I recommend over-the-counter methods – they tend to be less abrasive than products used by the dentist office.” There are even certain mouthwashes that have a whitening ingredient, but Dr. Inong advises it could increase the risk of tooth sensitivity, as can tartar control toothpastes. She explains, “Tartar control toothpaste is more abrasive than other toothpastes. Since exposed root surfaces are softer than enamel, the abrasive properties of tartar control toothpaste increase surface wear on exposed root surfaces and can increase the risk of sensitivity by opening up the dentinal tubules.”

There are many people who suffer from grinding their teeth at night. Not only is the habit annoying, but it can also cause tooth sensitivity as well. Dr. Inong advises using a night guard to correct the problem. “The forces generated from grinding cause hypersensitivity by causing the nerve of the tooth to become hyper-reactive to temperature and pressure. A night guard is worn at night and during the day depending on the patient.”
Dr. Maywell Inong
4568 Feather River Dr., Ste. E
Stockton, (209) 477-9105

Dr. Rafat Razi
2160 W. Grant Line Rd., Ste. 130
Tracy, (209) 834-1307