Help! Tooth Sensitivity Is Ruining My Favorite Summer Treats!

» Posted by on Jul 24, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Help! Tooth Sensitivity Is Ruining My Favorite Summer Treats!

Dear Dr. Merchant, 

Ouch! Frosty summer treats are sooo good, BUT my teeth are sooo sensitive to sweet and cold! This is my favorite time of year for ice cold beverages and delicious fruity treats, but I am unable to enjoy the summer’s bounty due to my tooth sensitivity. Popsicles, daiquiris, even biting into a chilled ripe peach causes a jolt of pain that stops me in my tracks. What can I do so that I can still enjoy some summery goodness?

Respectfully,                                               

Cold Bites!                                                                                                                 

Dear Cold,

Your complaint is an inevitable one this time of year. Summer time is the right time for cold sweet treats, unless you suffer from sensitive teeth. Sugar and cold can deliver a wallop that can turn the most delectable goody into a painful traitor. Fortunately there is some good news for folks with tooth sensitivity. After a quick examination to determine the severity of the problem, I would proceed with one of several non-invasive treatments that could significantly decrease pain. Many patients are amazed at how a modified brushing technique along with a sensitive toothpaste can make a huge difference. The next line of defense would involve a topical in-office treatment which is usually immediately effective. If the sensitivity continues to be recurrent and unresponsive, then a more permanent solution such as surgery is a last resort option. Fortunately, in my experience a majority of cases can be successfully treated with modified brushing techniques and minor in-office treatments.

Remember To Bring It Up During Your Yearly Exams

At your next cleaning, talk with your provider about your sensitivity. Make a note on your calendar when and which tooth is affected by eating and drinking. Sometimes patients forget to mention issues that aren’t constant. It’s helpful to have it noted and refer to it when in the dental chair, even if the tooth isn’t aching at that moment. Many issues can be diagnosed with a quick exam during your annual cleanings. For a more extensive list of possible causes, check out this article from Today’s RDH.com.

First Line Easy Fixes

Your provider’s first line of defense will be to try a softer brushing technique coupled with a soft bristled toothbrush. Many patients unwittingly brush too hard in the hopes that harder brushing leads to cleaner teeth. Unfortunately harder brushing can lead to damaged gums, exposed roots and lots of discomfort. An over the counter sensitive toothpaste is recommended for a period of time before moving onto the next level of treatment. After a period of use, these toothpastes can be quite effective in decreasing minor pain. Dietary changes and taking a break from bleaching treatments are also easy first fixes.

Second Line And Beyond….

If sensitive toothpaste doesn’t resolve the issue, the next step would be an in-office topical treatment such as fluoride varnish or silver diamine fluoride. Both of these are applied directly to the affected areas in just minutes. They are both immediately effective and can be reapplied every six months for continual relief. Additionally MI-Paste can be prescribed for home use to combat tooth sensitivity. If significant discomfort persists, then surgery can be discussed as a last resort option. Gum exposure and deeper issues such as root deterioration can cause chronic pain that can only be truly resolved by a medical procedure.

Hopefully I have given you some options so that you can enjoy your summertime favorites. Most dentine hypersensitivities can be easily resolved without invasive treatments. With a little bit of patience and preventative care, you can get back to pain free summer goodness in no time.

Happy Oral Health!

Dr. Merchant

Dr. Christopher D. Merchant D.D.S.

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