How to identify and treat sensitive teeth

Looking for the advice of a dentist Wellington can trust? Today we’re talking about sensitive teeth – if you’ve been experiencing discomfort, this is the article for you. Read on to find out about the varieties of tooth sensitivity, how to spot the cause, and how to help manage the pain.

Possible triggers

To identify whether or not your teeth are sensitive, it’s worth looking into the possible triggers. There are a number of things that may cause sudden sharp pains in sensitive teeth, including:
• Cold – cool temperatures can penetrate enamel and chill the dentin of sensitive teeth, prompting a painful response. Cold air can also be a cause of this; sucking in air suddenly can pull air through microscopic holes in your dentin.
• Heat – similarly, high-temperature foods or beverages can cause pain by heating the gas produced by bacteria within your teeth. This can cause painful internal pressure.
• Sugar – sweet sensitivity is another kind of pain you may be experiencing. If sugar comes in contact with your tooth’s dentin, a possible reaction is loss of fluid, which creates a similar pressure imbalance to heat.

Conducting a self-examination

If you’re concerned about your teeth, there are a couple of major signs you can look for yourself. These include plaque, tooth decay, gingivitis, and cavities. Plaque is relatively easy to notice – food by products and proteins build up on your teeth over time and, if you fail to brush often enough, you’ll be able to see and feel the plaque that builds up as a result. Tartar is plaque that has hardened, and is usually a yellow or brown colour.
Tooth decay may not cause any symptoms straight away, but is usually visible as white or darker blotches on your teeth. If left unchecked, tooth decay will progress form simple sensitivity into cavities or infections.
Gingivitis is also relatively easy to spot as red or swollen gums. Gingivitis is important to take note of, as it can develop into periodontal disease if ignored. This is much worse than tooth sensitivity, as it can result in the loosening of your teeth from the gums.
Finally, you may notice cavities in your teeth while performing a self-examination. Cavities are typically noticeable as visible holes in teeth, and are commonly associated with bad breath. Cavities may not always contribute to sensitive teeth at first but, if ignored for a long time, they will.

Mitigating the pain

If your teeth are sensitive and causing you consistent pain, seeking professional advice is the best thing you can do. In the meantime, there are several toothpaste brands available at your local supermarket or pharmacy which are specifically designed for sensitive teeth. It’s important to find the right one for you, and then also to use it properly – many people use sensitivity toothpastes until the pain subsides, and then switch back, only for it to return. Your dentist will be able to recommend the best toothpaste and pain management for your teeth.
Another avenue you can pursue is altering your brushing method. When you have sensitive teeth, using a softer brush, avoiding scrubbing too hard, and making sure you brush for a full two minutes are all advisable. Brushing your teeth too hard, with a very stiff brush, can eventually strip off layers of tooth enamel. It can be difficult to alter these habits, but it could completely turn your oral health around.
Limiting highly acidic foods and beverages is another great tactic for sensitive teeth. Red wine, soft drinks, and acidic fruits all have the potential to help wear away your enamel too. Over-indulging in these is dangerous even if you don’t have sensitive teeth, as enamel can’t grow back. Even diet soft drinks – while absent of sugar – alter the acidity of your mouth, which is why chewing gum is recommended to stimulate saliva and help prevent tooth decay.
Finally, many people have sensitive teeth due to grinding. Teeth grinding, especially during sleep, is a common cause of tooth sensitivity, and some may not even notice that they are doing it. Try wearing a mouth guard at night, and see if it makes a difference. Beyond that, there are exercises you can do to relax your jaw, and it may even be worth examining your mental health, as tooth grinding is often a symptom of unaddressed stress and anxiety in your life.

Talk to the dental experts

From tooth sensitivity to wisdom teeth removal, Victoria Street Dental has you covered. Come talk to us about your oral health today, and we can help you stop worrying about your teeth, and get back to enjoying life. Book a dental examination on our website now!

Discover what to expect through the process of Invisalign® Treatment

Why Invisalign?

The appearance of your smile impacts your personal and professional lives. Many patients have considered straightening their teeth but have been put off at the thought of traditional braces. The process of Invisalign treatment offers patients an option to achieve properly aligned teeth without the need for metal brackets and wires. Victoria Street Dental are your trusted Wellington Dentist for Invisalign treatments.

Invisalign Wellington

What to expect

Invisalign is a brand of orthodontic aligner trays. It can be used to treat mild to moderate orthodontic needs such as crowded, gapped, crooked, and misaligned teeth. Invisalign trays are fabricated from clear, BPA free plastic so they are safe, yet not visible to the general public. The trays are created using impressions of your teeth to ensure a snug fit around the teeth. This helps to avoid slipping while maintaining patient comfort.

Records which include x-ray, photographs and moulds of your teeth are taken to allow the dentist to devise a treatment plan. This plan uses a series of custom-made trays to gradually shift the teeth into proper alignment. The trays use gentle pressure rather than wires to move the teeth. Each set of trays is worn for a couple weeks as directed by the dentist. The trays are then discarded and a new set is worn. Each set has a different placement of pressure to promote continuous, gentle shifting of the teeth. Regular visits with your dentist are used to assess and monitor your progress.

Invisalign is a popular orthodontic treatment. The trays are convenient, removable, and subtle. From start to finish, our team makes sure you know what to expect from the Invisalign treatment process.

  1. Consultation – Patients who are interested in orthodontic correction need a consultation with the dentist to determine if Invisalign is an appropriate treatment.
  2. Treatment plan – Images and impressions are necessary to create custom aligner trays. The dentist creates a personalized treatment plan which includes the movement of the teeth and the estimated length of the treatment. Treatment time varies from patient to patient. Most patients are treated in approximately 12 months.
  3. Aligner trays – Invisalign trays are barely noticeable to the general public. They are made of clear, BPA-free plastic. Trays should be worn for 20 to 22 hours daily or as directed by the dentist for optimal results.
  4. Periodic checks – Using multiple sets of trays with differently placed pressure, the patient’s teeth are gradually shifted into proper alignment. Periodic checks with the dentist will ensure the treatment is progressing as planned.
  5. Retainers – Wearing a retainer after your Invisalign treatment is a must in order to maintain your beautiful new smile.

Patient-controlled successImage of a Young lady with white Teeth

One of the key factors in the success of Invisalign treatment lies with the patient. Aligner trays are removable. The more frequently they are removed, the less effective they are. Invisalign trays should only be removed to eat or to care for the teeth. Adhering to the dentist’s instructions ensure optimal results. Not following these instructions can hinder the effects of the treatment or create the need for future orthodontic correction.

Invisalign is a popular, effective treatment for teenagers and adults. It has become popular for the following reasons:

  1. Nearly invisible – Made of clear, BPA-free plastic, the aligner trays are not noticeable when patients are speaking or interacting with others. This allows for orthodontic correction without anyone knowing. With proper cleaning and rinsing, the trays remain invisible to the general public.
  2. Comfortable – Since they are created from impressions of your teeth, the aligner trays custom designed to fit snugly. They do not move around in the mouth.
  3. Removable – Trays can be removed to eat, drink, brush, and floss. Patients do not have to worry about particles from food or drinks getting stuck in the trays.
  4. Individualized – The trays and treatment plan are designed for each patient’s orthodontic needs.

Invisalign Wellington

Invisalign orthodontic treatments do more than just straighten and align the teeth. Straight teeth are generally healthier than crooked, misaligned teeth. The smile is improved aesthetically and functionally. Crooked, crowded teeth take away your smile but they are also harder to clean and floss. Straight teeth are easier to clean since there are fewer hard-to-reach areas where bacteria can hide and accumulate. The patient’s bite is improved. The overall smile is enhanced.

If you have any questions about Invisalign, contact us today to book an appointment or visit the Invisalign website.

Wellington Dentist