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Sensitive Teeth

What can I do about sensitive teeth?

Pain from sensitive teeth is not always constant; it can come and go. Constant pain could be a sign of a more serious problem. It is still important, however, to discuss your symptoms with your dentist to determine the cause and proper treatment.

What causes tooth sensitivity?

In healthy teeth, porous tissue called dentin is protected by your gums and by your teeth’s hard enamel shell. Microscopic holes in the dentin, called tubules, connect to the nerve, triggering pain when irritated by certain foods and beverages.

Dentin can be exposed by:

  • Receding gums caused by improper brushing or gum disease
  • Fractured or chipped teeth
  • Clenching or grinding your teeth
  • Erosion due to the aging process

Treating Tooth Sensitivity

Depending on the diagnosis, your dentist may recommend one or more of the following treatments to relieve the symptoms of sensitive teeth:

  • A soft-bristle toothbrush, or a powered brush, to protect gums.
  • A fluoride rinse or gel for sensitive teeth, prescribed by your dentist
  • A desensitizing toothpaste
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