Getting to the bottom of Sensitive Teeth

Friday, October 26, 2018

"It's only every now and then," you tell yourself about your sensitive teeth. "I'll just avoid ice cream when it hurts, it's not that big of a deal."

Pain is your body trying to tell you something. Your teeth are no different. There may be a simple reason for your sensitivity. Then again...

"There are many possible causes for dental hypersensitivity (sensitive teeth), which can be experienced as a slight discomfort all the way up to extreme pain," said Dr. Eric Ellingsen. "No matter the severity, though, you don't want to 'just live with it.'"

There are many "sensitive formula" versions of tooth paste and mouth rinses in both the over-the-counter and prescription markets. These can be very effective in relieving the discomfort. But, you need to be careful you're not just masking the symptoms of a larger issue.

Your sensitivity might be just a surface issue (some over-the-counter whiteners can cause sensitive teeth) or it could be caused by deteriorating enamel or even from a filling starting to wear out. Tooth sensitivity isn't obvious to the eye and some of its causes are easy to miss during a routine 6-month cleaning. Drs Ellingsen and Henneberg encourage you to ask them or your hygienist about your sensitivity during your next appointment. A more thorough examination with this in mind could result in early detection leading to better outcomes.

Your dentist will work with you to determine the best course of  treatment for you after determining the cause of your sensitivity. Some treatments may include special oral care products, sealants, new fillings, or even more involved procedures; or it could be as simple as changing up your at-home oral hygiene habits! The important thing is to make sure that you're attacking the real problem, not just covering up a symptom.

So, the next time you decide to put down the ice cream scoop, reach for the phone instead give us a call! We'd love to see you! (509) 381-7906

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