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Tooth Sensitivity

Description: Sensitivity is a condition characterized by a tingly feeling or a flash pinch of pain affecting one or more teeth.  The pain associated with tooth sensitivity may happen constantly or intermittently.  Intermittent tooth sensitivity can occur while ingesting hot or cold food or beverages, when cold air hits the teeth, or when an object contacts the teeth.

Sensitivity usually results from the root nerve of the tooth being affected.  This can occur through a variety of factors, including gum recession, acidic liquids (such as soda) that cause enamel wear and dentin exposure, tooth grinding (in which case all teeth feel sensitive), brushing teeth too hard, which may cause enamel loss and dentin exposure, gum disease (periodontitis), or a chipped or fractured tooth.  Also, inevitably as we age, enamel (the outer tooth surface) naturally wears down, exposing the dentin (the initial inner tooth surface) and causing sensitivity. 

Solutions: Treatment options for sensitivity include prescription fluoride rinses, gels and toothpastes, in-office desensitizer to provide relief for many months, even years. More severe cases may require bonding or other types of restoration such as porcelain veneers or crowns.