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Sensitive teeth can be treated. If sensitivity persists, your dentist will recommend treatment that will depending on what is causing the sensitivity. Your dentist may suggest one of a variety of treatments:
- Desensitizing toothpaste. This contains compounds that help block transmission of sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve, and usually requires several applications before the sensitivity is reduced.
- Fluoride gel. An in-office technique which strengthens tooth enamel and reduces the transmission of sensations.
- A crown, inlay or bonding. These may be used to correct a flaw or decay that results in sensitivity.
- Surgical gum graft. If gum tissue has been lost from the root, this will protect the root and reduce sensitivity.
- Root canal. If sensitivity is severe and persistent and cannot be treated by other means, your dentist may recommend this treatment to eliminate the problem.
A number of things can cause tooth sensitivity so if it does not go away, it is necessary for your dentist to determine the exact problem. There are many reasons for tooth sensitivity as well as a number of treatments. A desensitizing treatment or a simple bite adjustment is all that might be needed. On the flipside, more complicated procedures like a root canal, crown or periodontal (gum) therapy might be required. This is why it is not a good idea to ignore symptoms so they can be treated as soon as possible before things gets too complicated. Visit your dentist regularly and remember preventive treatment is the best -- don't wait until it hurts!
A root canal treatment may be needed if tooth sensitivity does not go away. This procedure involves removing the nerve (or remains of) from the tooth roots. Sometimes a crown is placed over a tooth that has just undergone a root canal. This is because the root canal has removed the blood supply from the tooth, so the tooth itself could become brittle and crack with use. Crowns help prevent cracking.
It can take time for some sensitivity to go away but if it does not go away then there can be many reasons. Your dentist will have to see where the sensitivity could be coming from. If there is sensitivity without any dental work done then it can be an indication of parafunction (clenching, grinding, bruxing etc.) and/or malocclusion. If there is sensitivity after a dental restoration is done and lasts for some time then the restoration may have to be redone, or the tooth may have to be desensitized. If that does not work then the last resort would be to do a root canal if the sensitivity is unbearable.
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.