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Holiday Treats and Sensitive Teeth

We have just finished up the holiday most dentists consider a nightmare – HALLOWEEN!
As you know, all those sugary treats can play havoc on your teeth.

Now we’re into the holiday season and for some of you the vision of sugarplums is painful!
If pumpkin pie with ice cream makes you cringe or if hot cocoa causes you pain…you probably have a sensitive tooth (or teeth).

There are many causes that could be causing this pain:

  • worn enamel
  • a fractured tooth
  • decay
  • gum disease

Here’s an explanation of what may be happening: If your teeth are healthy, there is a layer of enamel that protects everything above your gums. Under that is a layer of cementum that protects your tooth root. And, under that is your dentin.

The dentin layer is like a series of small canals. When your enamel or cementum wear down or are compromised by a cavity or crack, these tubes or canals are exposed and allow the cold or hot (or acid or sticky, sugary foods) to reach the nerves in the tooth. This can cause the hypersensitivity pain, or what we call “sensitive teeth”.

But never fear – you can have that hot cider or Grandma’s sweet fudge because tooth sensitivity can be treated!
Dr. Jackie Schafer of Colorado Healthy Smiles tells us more. “I often get clients asking if special toothpastes work for
tooth sensitivity. And, the answer is “sometimes”. It depends on what is causing your pain as to what treatment(s)
will be effective”.

“Depending on your circumstances and if you’ve tried a desensitizing toothpaste and it didn’t work, we might need to strengthen your enamel and can apply a fluoride gel. I might recommend a crown, overlay or bonding to correct a tooth surface flaw – like a hairline fracture. If sensitivity is severe, a root canal might be needed.”

So for all of you who shy away from hot, cold or sugary treats because of the pain they cause you, talk to your dentist and find out more about tooth sensitivity and effective treatments to eliminate the pain for good.

Author Info

Dan Stratford