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Treatment for Sensitive Teeth

Dr. Sumaiya Khan Jan 2, 2019
Sensitive teeth is a painful condition, wherein a person finds it difficult to eat hot and cold foods. Let's discuss a few treatment options for the same.
Sensitive teeth is caused due to the exposure of "dentine", which is the softer part of your tooth that lies under the enamel. The dentine is composed of tubules that lead to the nerve in the center of the tooth.
These tubules are filled with a fluid, which moves when hot or cold foods and drinks are consumed. This causes the nerve to react by triggering an acute, sharp pain in the tooth.


The dentin may get exposed due to the following reasons:
  • Receding gums
  • Brushing vigorously
  • Gum disease
  • Teeth grinding



There are certain desensitizing toothpastes, which help alleviate the tooth pain. These toothpastes have ingredients which help numb the external surface of the teeth temporarily. Ingredients such as potassium nitrate help prevent the tooth from sensing pain.
Furthermore, they also contain strontium chloride and clove oil among other ingredients. Strontium chloride has a brilliant mechanism of not only preventing sensitivity in teeth, but it also helps build the tooth structure.
Strontium chloride makes the minerals of the saliva to crystallize and cover the pores in the exposed roots of teeth, so that cold stimuli do not reach the tooth nerve. Fluoridated toothpastes also help to build up the tooth structure, and therefore, decrease the susceptibility of teeth to sense pain.

Dental Treatments

Sometimes, people complain of teeth sensitivity after a dental filling. This is normally seen in cases where the tooth decay was severe and before going in for root canal treatment, the dentist has instead done a filling.
However, if the caries reaches near the pulp, then it is possible that the person gets sensitivity on eating hot and cold foods. If the sensitivity due to teeth grinding, then the filling should be removed and root canal treatment should be performed.
However, if the pain is due to thinning of the tooth structure, then the treatment would include laminates, veneers, or even complete tooth capping, either in the form of individual tooth capping or in the form of bridges. The thinning of tooth structure indicates the enamel wear off due to which the dentin gets exposed.
In such cases, where the pain is due to receding gums, the treatment will entail getting proper cleaning of teeth done. This will encourage the receding gum line to come back into position. Sometimes, periodontal surgeries, like flap surgeries may also need to be performed.

Home Treatment

  • Limit the consumption of acidic foods and drinks that can wear away the tooth enamel, such as wine, vinegar, lemon, carbonated drinks, etc.
  • Avoid the consumption of excess hot and cold foods, like tea, coffee, ice creams, soft drinks, etc., to prevent the bouts of sensitivity in teeth.
  • Use a straw while consuming acidic beverages to avoid contact with your teeth.
  • Use a very soft bristle toothbrush.
  • Use a toothpaste specially formulated to treat teeth sensitivity.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene.
  • Visit your dentist for regular checkups.
  • Take your dentist's guidance to avoid teeth grinding, especially during the night.
The treatment may depend upon the severity of your condition. Therefore, always seek a dentist's help to diagnose the root cause of your sensitive teeth.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.