young girl experiencing tooth sensitivity after eating ice cream

Understanding Tooth Sensitivity

Have you ever taken a bite into an ice cream sandwich and recoiled at the feeling on your teeth? Perhaps the same reaction occurred when you took a sip of hot chocolate or bit into an apple. Tooth sensitivity affects millions of people around the United States and is a major focus for those who service the dental care of our Utah children. 

Sensitive teeth can be aggravated by just about anything, from putting extremely hot or cold things in your mouth, to eating sweet and/or sour foods, to even exposing your teeth to a strong breeze of cold air. Sensitivity can become a big detriment to your kids’ tooth care, as they won’t want to do any activity, like brushing or flossing, that may cause an uncomfortable twinge.

Causes of Sensitivity

Sensitive teeth are caused by many things, some of which may even be out of our control. In all aspects of our Utah children’s dental care, it is important to make routine visits to the pediatric dentist for help in identifying these causes and minimizing any current and potential pain. Causes of dental sensitivity include:

  • Cavities
  • Genetics
  • Gum Disease
  • Damaged Enamel
  • Acidic Foods

So much of the sensitivity of our teeth comes back to the state of our enamel; letting cavities take over or not letting the dentist fix cracked or chipped teeth can have a serious impact on how comfortable it will be to eat, drink, brush, or smile.

Treating Sensitive Teeth

Just because the teeth have become sensitive doesn’t mean that they are beyond hope, however. Even genetic problems in nascent teeth, like enamel hypoplasia (a defect that causes pits and grooves to form in the enamel) or dentinogenesis imperfecta (discoloration and weakening of new teeth), can be treated in a pediatric dentistry clinic so that sensitive teeth don’t remain a problem forever.

Strengthening Enamel

Fixing sensitive teeth is often best done by attacking the problem at its source. There are numerous ways to improve the dental care of our Utah children by strengthening their enamel, including:

  • Focus on Soft Brushing: Soft bristles, a slower brushing action, and even a looser grip on the toothbrush are all good steps in making sure that you aren’t damaging your teeth with overly enthusiastic brushing.
  • Change Toothpaste: While all toothpastes focus on making and keeping your teeth white, not all are designed to combat sensitivity. Your kids’ pediatric dentistry will have plenty of suggestions for kid-friendly toothpastes that strengthen the enamel and reverse unwanted sensitivity.
  • Pause Your Bleaching: As normal as bleaching is, repeated uses of the chemical might have adverse effects on your tooth enamel. Taking a break for a few weeks while you do the other aforementioned suggestions can make a big difference in how your mouth feels.

Dental Procedures

Sometimes sensitive teeth can trace their origins down to the very roots. In cases such as these, you or your child’s dentist may need to take action in the clinic to fix the sensitivity.

  • Gum Grafting: Poorly kept teeth will often cause the gums to recede or whole chunks to fall away. Gum tissue can be taken from elsewhere in the mouth and grafted onto the affected areas.
  • Root Canal: If all other treatments don’t work, the dentist may need to do some work on the soft pulp of the tooth. A root canal, while drastic, is considered the best remedy for sensitive teeth. 

Remember, the best way to promote better tooth care for our kids is to have them follow a comprehensive, yet doable, cleaning routine. Brushing, flossing, fluoride, and (if they’re old enough) mouthwash are all great ways to not only manage tooth sensitivity but stop tooth decay in its tracks. 

Stop by the Timpanogos Pediatric Dentistry for a consultation and to get your kid enrolled with our office. We are dedicated to improving the dental care of our Utah children.


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