Are sensitive teeth ruining your ice cream social?
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?
Moast of us have been down the wall of toothpaste aisle looking for something to help with sensitivty. What is most purchased is Sensodyne toothpaste. Something to know about toothpastes is that they are ALL abrasive. Sensodyne works by applying a painkiller- Potassium Nitrate on the root surface. It tells you on the box it is not made for long term use. A six month supply may cost as much as $48 and it is not healing the tooth.
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. This material is called Vanish XT made by the 3M corporation.
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. When is a filling necessary? When the tooth is notched from brushing too hard. You can saw your tooth into the nerve creating an abscess. These will need repair. It is best to see a dentist regularly to check which kind of repair is best in your situation.
Another help with clogging the pores of your teeth are fluoride. 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. This usually entailed those big foam trays, a suction device and a lot of gagging and possibility of being a little sick afterwards becauase you may swallow some of the fluoride. The new varnish will help the sensitivity on the root surfaces and surface cracks.
A non-fluoridated solution is made with a Calcium/Phosphate with or without fluoride. MI paste (among other products) 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. Fluoridex (made by Discus Dental) also has the Potassium Nitrate in it like sensodyne. It appears to be more effective because of the high level of fluoride in the tube. It is low abrasion and it actually comes in a whitening formula, too.
A combination of treatments may be recommended depending upon what you have tried in the past.
Let’s help you rebuild and strengthen your teeth!
Source by Linda J. King DDS, MAGD