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Posts Tagged ‘tooth sensitivity’

Ask the Dentist: What to Know About Sensitivity Toothpaste

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

22 percent of American adults experience tooth sensitivity, according to a survey conducted by the American Dental Association (1). Perhaps you are in that 22 percent and you have been a happy customer of sensitivity toothpaste. Or perhaps you’ll need it sometime in the future.

Either way, have you ever wondered how in the world it works? Or what makes it so much more special than regular paste?

Why Tooth Sensitivity Happens

Many causes of sensitive teeth involve enamel erosion, which exposes the dentinal tubules of the underlying tooth tissue. The dentin and dentinal tubules can also be exposed when the gums recede. These tubules lead directly to the nerve endings, found in the inside layer, or pulp, of the tooth.

That means that extreme temperatures (hot OR cold), acidic foods, and other offensive triggers can cause a lot more painful nerve stimulation than usual, and results in what we term “sensitivity” (1,2). Click here to read more about some of the causes of tooth sensitivity.

Sensitivity toothpaste – such as Sensodyne – helps many people with tooth sensitivity. Sensitivity toothpastes work in one of two ways:

Blocking or repairing your exposed dentinal tubules. Examples of this type of paste include Sensodyne Repair and Protect or Crest Pro-Health. The dentinal tubules are very tiny holes that lead to the nerves, but ingredients like strontium chloride or stannous fluoride plugs up these holes. These types of paste build up a repair layer that acts as a substitute enamel to keep the tubules covered up. In this scenario, the tubules are blocked and shielded, so no triggers ever reach the nerve endings, and no painful stimulation occurs.

Desensitizing your nerve endings found in the dentinal tubules. How is this done? The short answer is with potassium nitrate! An example of this type of paste is the Sensodyne 24/7 Protection line of products, such as Sensodyne Deep Clean. Another example of this type of paste is Crest Sensitivity Protection. The potassium ions found in this kind of toothpaste block the nerves from transmitting the sensation of pain.

So even though the offensive trigger reaches the nerve, you don’t feel it because the potassium ion interferes with the nerve signal and soothes the sensitivity. This type of product requires repeat usage before the sensitivity is reduced. Over time, the potassium ions build up in the tubules, providing protection and longer lasting relief from sensitivity if you continue to use the product.

What Else To Know About Tooth Sensitivity

Additionally, sensitivity paste helps overall oral health by working to protect teeth from gingivitis, cavities, tartar buildup and stains. Sensitive toothpastes also contain fluoride, which can strengthen the enamel and prevent tooth decay. These toothpastes can be used by people without sensitivity because they still provide all these oral health benefits. So that means you can still share with your spouse or family!

As a bonus, using them will help to prevent sensitivity if you start to develop tendencies towards the condition. These pastes have been studied and found to be safe, but if you continue to have sensitive teeth after using the products for more than four weeks, you should check with Dr. Hagen. We might need to prescribe you a prescription paste, or perform an examination to look for a more serious underlying problem.

Call Hagen Dental Practice For All Your Family’s Dental Needs!

Just a reminder: don’t substitute sensitivity toothpaste for your regular dental checkups and care; sensitive teeth can be a sign of more serious dental health issues. Finding the root cause is important to prevent further dental issues in the future. Talk to us the next time you are in the office, or call to schedule now! (513) 251-5500

Sources:

  1. https://crest.com/en-us/oral-care-topics/sensitivity/make-your-teeth-happy-with-sensitive-toothpaste
  2. https://www.sharecare.com/health/healthy-oral-hygiene/how-does-desensitizing-toothpaste-work
  3. https://us.sensodyne.com/about-sensodyne/
  4. http://tribecanydentistoffice.com/general/sensitive-toothpaste/
  5. http://news.crest.com/about/faq/faq_crest_pro_health

The Common—And Not So Common—Causes Of Tooth Sensitivity

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

Why do teeth become tender and sensitive? Why can some people bite into a nearly sub-arctic temperature ice cream treat with no issue, while others wince in pain, or avoid the treat all together? Can you avoid this happening to you? Eliminating some of the reasons tooth sensitivity develops can help lessen your pain or help you avoid this problem developing.

Here are some of the reasons teeth become sensitive:

Brushing Too Hard

Using a hard-bristled toothbrush or brushing with too much force can start to wear and tear on your teeth and gums. This excess force and friction wears down the protective enamel layer of your teeth, which can eventually expose more sensitive tissue or nerves. These habits can also cause gum damage or recession, exposing the very sensitive root tissue below the gum line. Avoid these issues by switching to a soft bristled brush and brushing in a circular, gentle motion along your teeth. Often times, people brush too hard because they are in a hurry. Slow down and show your teeth some TLC (1,2).

Eating Too Many Acidic Foods

If your teeth have already become sensitized, and nerve or root tissue is exposed, acidic foods will irritate these areas and cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Acidic foods include things like tomato sauce, citrus fruits, kiwis, pickles, sour candies, and soft drinks. Avoiding these foods can help you avoid the painful stimulation they cause (1).

Grinding Your Teeth

Grinding your teeth, which most commonly occurs at night during sleeping, wears down the enamel and can damage the gum tissue, leading to gum recession. Just like with brushing too hard, exposing the more porous middle layer of the tooth under the enamel means unprotected nerve fibers can be reached by irritants. If you think you’ve been grinding your teeth, or you’ve been told you are a grinder, schedule an appointment with Dr. Hagen to discuss finding a mouth guard to prevent the grinding (1).

Using Certain Toothpastes

Certain toothpastes can lead or further promote sensitivity. Because people can react differently to the same product, some people might develop sensitivity from a paste that another person is not bothered by. If you noticed the sensitivity start after switching to a new whitening paste, you should switch to a different brand of paste, a different product that doesn’t contain any whitening agents, or ask us if you have questions.

Overusing Mouthwash

Mouthwash is a good part of your oral hygiene habits. However, some people overuse their mouthwash, leading to enamel wear, dentin exposure, and sensitivity of the teeth. If you think this is the cause of your sensitivity, try cutting back to swishing just once or twice a day, or try a brand that is alcohol free. And don’t forget to be proactive with your brushing and flossing so that you don’t miss the extra mouthwash rinses. (Once again, ask us for more guidance specific to you.)

Gum Disease

Gum recession, gum inflammation (gingivitis), and other forms of gum disease can all present with tooth sensitivity. In this case, you most likely will notice the sensitivity at the gum line, where unprotected tooth tissue is exposed to the elements: anything you eat and drink. In the case of gum issues, it is vital to schedule your next dental appointment right away, so that Dr. Hagen can help get your gum disease under control and talk to you about treatment options to deal with the gum disease, or procedures to seal the exposed tooth.

A Recent Dental Procedure

Procedures such as root canals, extractions, or crown placement can all cause sensitivity after the event. However, these symptoms should only be temporary. If the sensitivity persists, be sure to schedule a follow up visit to rule out infection or other complications (1).

A Cracked Tooth

A cracked or even chipped tooth can cause pain. This pain can vary, but is typically severe enough that it feels worse than just sensitivity. In a case like this, Dr. Hagen will need to analyze the issue to determine what type of treatment will be available to fix or remove the cracked or chipped tooth (1).

Contact Hagen Dental Practice for All Your Oral Health Needs

Do you think one or more of the issues listed above relates to you? Call us at (513) 251-5500 to learn more about how to prevent, deal with, or end your tooth sensitivity!

Sources:

  1. http://www.everydayhealth.com/dental-health/10-biggest-causes-of-tooth-sensitivity.aspx
  2. https://www.danmatthewsdds.com/5-unusual-causes-tooth-sensitivity/

 

The Truth About Aging and Your Teeth

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

As people age, it’s common to worry about several health factors…But one the most important aspects relating to our overall quality of life is often forgotten: oral care!

The time to start healthy oral care habits to maintain throughout your lifetime is now!


Why care? For starters, you don’t want to lose your teeth – and gum disease and tooth decay become the leading causes of tooth loss as we age. And even if you don’t lose your teeth, you don’t want to have to deal with receding gums that can become a problem in your 40s or 50s.

What’s more, it is important to be aware that dental crowns and filling do need to be replaced as we age. Over time, filling materials can wear and chip at the edges of your fillings and they can become weaker. When you go to your dentist regularly, they can check the health of your dental restorations so you can replace it when you need to.

So what else should we know in relation to oral care as time goes by? When you are over the age of about 50, there can be change in your gums, which can promote tooth decay. What’s more is that older adults who take medication (antihistamines, diuretics, pain killers, high blood pressure medications and/or antidepressants) can potentially see some negative side effects including dry mouth (which can lead to more decay!), gum changes, and even taste changes. These are all good reasons to visit your dentist on a regular basis.

Keep this in mind: dental disease is actually almost entirely preventable – and isn’t inevitable with age! Plus, a white and healthy smile is a huge indicator of good health and youth! Take your health in your hands now so down the road you can still enjoy a high quality of life.

Check out our services tab on our website for more detailed information. If you’d like to setup an appointment with Hagen Dental, visit the About Us page on our website or stop in our office. Or, “follow” us on Twitter and “like” us on Facebook.

Top Ten Signs It’s Time to Visit the Dentist

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Here are ten indicators it's time to make your next dentist appointment!

10. Pain when eating food that is hot or cold.

9. Discharge around any of your teeth.

8. Gums are noticeably red and bleed easily (for example, during brushing).

7. Teeth look longer than they were before, due to gum recession.

6. Persistent bad breath without explanation.

5. Your teeth no longer align the same way when you “bite.”

4. “Pockets” have developed between any of your teeth.

3. Mouth sores that won’t go away.

2. For young children, indication of increased discomfort in their mouth.

1. Six months have passed since your last visit!

Of course, catching problems before any of these signs develop by going to the dentist on a regular basis can help mitigate any necessary treatments you may need!

If you’d like to setup an appointment with Hagen Dental, give us a call at 513.251.5500. And if you’d like to learn more about us, simply visit the About Us page on our website or stop in our office.