How to Care for Sensitive Teeth

Millions of Americans have sensitive teeth. (1 in 8 people, to be exact!) Because of sensitive teeth, many people avoid certain foods like ice cream and chose to drink their beverages at room temperature instead of ice cold. Living with sensitive teeth does not have to be permanent. There are ways to help!


Causes of Sensitive Teeth:

In order to determine the causes of your sensitive teeth, your dentist must explore and evaluate your teeth to decide if the cause of sensitivity.  Cracks and cavities are two reasons for sensitive teeth. If cavities or cracks exist, Dr. Scott Fulp or Dr. Nicole Fulp will correct those problems, which, in return generally resolves the sensitivity. On the other hand, if there are no unhealthy teeth contributing to the sensitivity, it will then be time to look at the other causes of sensitive teeth. Usually, there are two main causes for otherwise healthy teeth being sensitive:

  • Gum Recession: When the gum tissue surrounding a tooth starts to recede, it exposes the root of the tooth to all the temperatures in your mouth. Because the root of a tooth is not covered by enamel, hot and cold sensations in your mouth reach the nerves of your teeth more easily.
  • Hypersensitive Nerves: In this case, the nerve inside a tooth can become hypersensitive (or overdramatic). This basically means that the nerve overreacts to normal stimuli. Teeth grinding or sinus pressure sometimes cause hypersensitive nerves.


What Fulp Family Dentistry Can Do:

Once we determine the undermining causes of your tooth sensitivity, Dr. Nicole or Dr. Scott will give you several options for sensitive tooth relief:

  • A very simple way to ease tooth sensitivity is to change your toothpaste. We can prescribe special toothpaste with a high amount of fluoride, which is a natural mineral that strengthens all of the hard structure of a tooth. There are also good over-the-counter toothpastes for sensitive teeth, give one a try!
  • A fluoride treatment delivers a very high concentration of fluoride that focuses on the exact area of sensitivity.
  • In some cases, dental work such as a filling or crown may be needed. In the case of gum recession, your dentist may need to cover the exposed root with a tooth colored filling to seal the sensitive area of the tooth.


What to Avoid with Sensitive Teeth:
  • Whitening Toothpastes: These toothpastes are too abrasive for sensitive teeth because the particles used to polish the teeth can, over time, weaken the enamel on your teeth.
  • Acidic Drinks: Sodas, sports drinks, sparkling water, and citrus juices have high acidity levels, which thin the enamel on your teeth.
  • Teeth Grinding: Constant grinding or clinching your teeth leads to irritated nerves and sensitivity.


Fulp Family Dentistry is a family dental office located in Tifton, Georgia. Dr. Nicole and Dr. Scott Fulp offers family dentistry and cosmetic dental services such as whitening, crowns, Invisalign, veneers, implants and more to Tifton and surrounding communities including Sylvester, Adel, Ashburn, Fitzgerald, Ocilla and Nashville.