We see patients daily complaining about sensitive teeth caused by a wide range of problems. Aside from actual toothaches, one of the most frequent causes is clenching and grinding. Cracks in teeth can also create this problem and can be very perplexing to diagnose. There are little “tunnels”—actually tubules—running from the inside of the tooth nerve in the pulp chamber to the outside of the tooth root. The top of the tooth is covered with enamel to cover these “tunnels” carrying nerves but they are exposed on the root of the tooth. We know that potassium nitrate, fluoride and calcium carbonate will block these tunnels. Potassium nitrate is the ingredient in Sensodyne toothpaste and that’s why it works to reduce sensitivity in the root. Sometimes we apply special bonding agents to the root also to cover these “tunnels.”
Orthotics or specially designed mouth guards are made for clenching and grinding. Cracks in teeth can sometimes be resolved by onlays or crowns or even root canal treatment. In any case, we need to see the problem to determine the cause. Call today to get rid of sensitive teeth.