When a patient comes to my office complaining of a specific tooth that is hot, cold or biting sensitive, often times there is a tooth suffering from reversible or irreversible pulpitis. The treatment under these circumstances can often be root canal therapy. But that isn’t the most common scenario. Usually the patient is suffering from exposed dentin or sensitized cementum.
Often times exposed dentin or cementum (root surface ) isn’t sensitive but at times it is. Sensitive teeth can be exacerbated by sweets and acidic foods and drinks, soda pop being one of the worst. Improper bleaching technique is another. But there are patients who stay away from common contributing factors and still suffer from sensitive teeth.
Periodontal disease can also cause recession of the gums leading to exposed root surfaces that become sensitive. This is one reason why visiting your dentist regularly is so important.
Your best defenses are brushing and flossing regularly. Over-the-counter fluoride or xylitol rinses and toothpastes such as Sensodyne can also help. Desensitizing toothpastes work by having ingredients such as strontium chloride and potassium nitrate that help block the transmission of pain signals from the surface of your tooth to the nerve.
If the patient is doing everything they can but still has ongoing sensitivity there are professional products we provide at our office that can help. One product is MI Paste. MI Paste restores minerals and helps you produce saliva. Another is Fluoridex. Fluoridex contains 1.1% Neutral Sodium Fluoride which aids in the remineralization process.