Our Saint Paul Dentist Explains The Underlying Causes Of Sensitive Teeth and Gums

Written by Drs. Mark and Rachel Malterud on Nov 17, 2020

Is tooth pain or sensitivity keeping you from getting the most out of your daily routine? If you find that you are regularly suffering from dental discomfort, it may be time to talk to your dental team about the treatment options that are available to you. Keep reading to learn more from our Saint Paul dentists about sensitive smiles…

Why Does Dental Sensitivity Develop?

You may find that your teeth become sensitive for a number of different reasons. Some people experience sensitivity only temporarily, after cleanings or whitening sessions, for example, while other battle chronic discomfort.

Generally speaking, dental sensitivity occurs when the nerves inside of your teeth are affected by irritants or oral bacteria. This can happen because…

  • The dental enamel on your teeth has started to thin due to acid exposure or chronic dental grinding
  • Your teeth have developed cracks or chips
  • You have an existing infection in one or more of your teeth
  • Your gum tissue is pulling away from the tooth roots

What Kinds Of Treatments Are Available?

In order to address dental sensitivity, we can calm inflamed nerves, promote the health of natural protective barriers (like dental enamel and gum tissue), reinforce natural teeth with composite resin or porcelain, or do some combination of the three.

If your tooth pain is related to existing infection or damage it is crucial that we use restorative dental care to make your teeth healthy and whole again. If we ignore this type of damage the discomfort that you are experiencing will only compound, and the damage can actually spread to other areas of your smile over time.

To manage short-term discomfort, and to achieve quick relief, you may want to integrate some sensitivity-safe oral hygiene products into your routine. Traditional toothpastes and mouth rinses are simply too abrasive for some of our patients. At-home oral hygiene products that are designed for sensitive teeth are less harsh, and may additionally contain soothing ingredients to lessen the reactivity of dental nerves.

Our Saint Paul dentists are happy to provide you with any additional guidance or support that you may need. Contact us by phone or through our website to get started!