By Dr. Marcelo W. Mattschei, DDS –
Do you ever experience a pain in your teeth when eating ice cream or sipping hot coffee? Do you find that brushing or flossing occasionally makes you wince? If you answered yes to either of these questions you likely have sensitive teeth.
Many Americans are walking around today, unable to enjoy a cold or hot treat because of the sharp sensation they experience when it touches their teeth. In fact, more than 40% of adults experience tooth sensitivity, also referred to as dentin hypersensitivity. It occurs more frequently in women than in men. Most people experience tooth sensitivity as a short, sharp pain originating from a tooth or teeth in their mouth.
It is often caused by eating or drinking something hot, cold, sweet or acidic. Under normal conditions, the underlying dentin of the tooth (the layer that immediately surrounds the nerve) is covered by the enamel in the tooth crown, and the gums that surround the tooth. Over time, the enamel covering can get thinner, thus providing less protection. The gums can also recede over time, exposing the underlying root surface dentin.
The dentin contains a large numbers of pores or tubes that run from the outside of the tooth to the nerve in the center. When the dentin is exposed, these tubes can be stimulated by changes in temperature or certain foods
What causes it?
Exposure of the dentin can occur due to a number of factors. Some of the more common reasons are:
- Gum recession due to age or improper tooth brushing
- Acidic beverages (such as soda) that cause enamel erosion and dentin exposure
- Tooth grinding – this may actually cause most or all of the teeth to feel sensitive
- Brushing with a very abrasive toothpaste, brushing incorrectly and/or brushing more than three times a day could result in a loss of enamel
- Gum disease, which can result in gum recession
- A chipped or fractured tooth may expose the dentin
In addition, some dental treatments can cause sensitivity. Treatments such as such as teeth whitening, professional dental cleanings, having braces put on or getting a filling placed have been known to cause sensitivity during or after the procedure.
What can I do about it?
The first step in doing something about dental sensitivity is to find out what the cause is – a dental professional can help you with this. If the sensitivity is due to exposed dentin, there are a number of steps you can take, as can your dental professional, to help reduce the sensitivity. These can include:
- Using a very soft bristle tooth brush
- Brushing correctly to help prevent abrasion of the enamel and recession of the gums
- Using a toothpaste specially formulated to help reduce sensitivity
- The dental professional can:
- Apply a fluoride varnish on the sensitive areas to help strengthen the tooth
- Prescribe a high fluoride tooth paste to use every day
- Place a dental restoration to build up the areas that have lost enamel
In the end, whether you need an in-office procedure or over-the-counter products, the most important step is to see a dental professional so that he or she can determine the cause of the tooth sensitivity and help you find a solution that will work.
Dental Crown in an Hour has been providing truly affordable, quality dental care to local patients since June of last year. If you are suffering with sensitive teeth, call 239-330-2666 to learn more about Dr. Marcelo’s everyday low prices today. No appointment is required, walk-ins are welcome! Start enjoying your ice cream and coffee too!
Dr. Mattschei is not your typical dentist. He started off with modest means. Both his parents immigrated to the U.S. in their teens. The old world virtues of a simple life are evident to this day in his practice style and approach towards healthcare.
He grew up in the Tampa Bay Area. Where he attended Jesuit High School and later graduated from the local college, The University of South Florida. As early as high school he cultivated a passion of helping others through his leadership in student government, fraternity and civic organizations.
A tradition he continued at Marquette University School of Dentistry, as class president. While studying to be a dentist, he had the opportunity to further his calling to providing low cost care to the underserved of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Upon graduating, he continued to offer affordable care as a resident of Waterbury Health Center Hospital in Connecticut.
These experiences provided the cornerstones to the vision for “Dental Crown in an Hour.” Dr. Mattschei wants patients to be able to fix their broken and painful teeth. He is making this possible by lowering the cost and time barriers traditionally associated with treatment.