If your child winces while eating ice cream or drinking hot cocoa, he may have sensitive teeth. If the extreme temperatures in food and drinks are producing noticeable pain, it’s time to take your child to the best dentist in Jersey City Dr. Mila Cohen of True Dental Care for Kids & Teens for a full evaluation, diagnosis and treatment. Sensitive teeth rarely fix themselves.
Dentistry professionals call sensitive teeth “dentin hypersensitivity.” It’s a common malady, affecting about 57 percent of all Americans, young and old. Tooth sensitivity usually occurs over time to one or more teeth. The two primary reasons for the sensitivity are:
- When the enamel protecting the teeth becomes thinner
- When the gum recedes, exposing the dentin of the tooth, which is the underlying surface
The best rated dentist in Jersey City Dr. Mila Cohen can explain that gum sensitivity in your kid’s mouth starts with some kind of irritation to the gums. This can be caused by any number of things, including gingivitis, which is the initial phase of gum disease. Other symptoms your child may experience with gum sensitivity are:
- Tender and swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath from bleeding gums
- Receding gum line
If your child’s gums are receding, it may be a sign of advanced gum disease. A visit to the top rated dentist in New Jersey can tell you what’s causing your child’s gum sensitivity.
Causes of Gum and Teeth Sensitivity
One of the main causes of gum sensitivity that can lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease is bad oral hygiene. The main culprit of gum sensitivity is the build-up of plaque along the gum line. If untreated, it can advance to gum disease. Other causes of gum sensitivity are crooked teeth or diabetes. Tobacco use and pregnancy can also cause gum sensitivity, but hopefully, your kids aren’t smoking or doing anything worse.
Some additional causes of sensitive teeth and gums include:
- Erosion of teeth enamel caused by acidic foods and beverages
- Worn enamel from aggressive brushing or a toothbrush with hard bristles
- Recessed gums that leave roots exposed
- Tooth decay
- Broken teeth, which can expose the dentin or nerve of the tooth
- Dental treatments like crowns, tooth bleaching and worn fillings
- Grinding teeth during sleep
Some children experience teeth sensitivity because their dentin is hypersensitive. Dentin is the most common material in teeth. Dentin contains tiny tubes, only visible with a microscope, that are filled with nerve endings. The hard layer of enamel protects the dentin around the crown of the tooth, and extending lower, the dentin is protected by a layer called the cementum.
The ADA attributes nerve irritation to dentin losing the protective covering of enamel and cementum. This loss exposes the nerve endings to cold, hot and acidic foods. That’s what causes the temperature sensitivity.
Symptoms of Sensitive Teeth
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), common problems such as tooth fractures, cavities, receding gums, exposed dentin, cracked teeth, worn enamel, gum disease and loose fillings can all cause sensitivity to the teeth. Overusing mouthwash can also expose nerves that cause irritation.
In addition to hot and cold sensitivity, your child also may discover that brushing and flossing causes pain to sensitive teeth, as well as eating or drinking something acidic or sweet. Sometimes, even breathing in cold air can be painful. If your child has any of these symptoms, make an appointment with the best rated Jersey City kids dentist.
Treatment Options for Sensitive Teeth and Gums
Tooth and gum sensitivity can lead to serious mouth conditions, but the causes are preventable and treatable. If your child is experiencing sensitive tooth pain, the best way to alleviate it is to practice good oral health maintenance. This begins with using toothpaste containing fluoride, as well as one that prevents gingivitis and plaque. Flossing daily and having a nutritious diet also help keep teeth and gums healthy.
Desensitizing toothpastes and gels can help relieve pain in the teeth and gums. Advanced treatment options include gum grafting, bonding and root canal. Choose the best kids dentist in Jersey City to discuss all the potential treatments.
Getting Treatment for Teeth Sensitivity
The first step in getting relief for your child’s tooth and gum sensitivity is visiting the best child dentist in Jersey City. Describe your child’s symptoms to the dentist. Be sure to explain when the pain first started, and what, if anything, makes it feel better, like placing a warm compress on it.
Your kids best dentist determines the cause of the sensitivity and then treats it. Treatment can be as easy as replacing a worn filling or repairing a cavity. If your child’s pain comes from the exposure of root surfaces in the gum, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist to perform a gum graft to better support the tooth and protect the exposed root.
Products to Reduce Sensitivity
If the cause of your child’s tooth sensitivity isn’t obvious to even the best dentist in JC Dr. Mila Cohen of True Dental Care for Kids & Teens, there are products and treatments to help relieve pain:
- Your dentist can use an in-office gel that contains fluoride to reduce pain and strengthen enamel.
- You can find over-the-counter products that contain desensitizing ingredients. Brand names such as Sensodyne and Colgate Sensitive are a couple of options.
- Your dentist may recommend rubbing the affected teeth with toothpaste after brushing.
The best kids dentist in New Jersey recommends good oral hygiene habits for your child to reduce, eliminate and prevent tooth and gum sensitivity. One measure is to brush properly twice a day for two minutes, with toothpaste that has a low level of abrasives. Flossing once per day helps reduce sensitivity. Watching your child’s diet to avoid acidic food and drinks helps reduce teeth sensitivity, too.
Your dentist may also prescribe stronger toothpastes that don’t have abrasives or fluoride rinses specially formulated to protect against decay while making teeth less sensitive. Brush-on fluoride gels are available by prescription if the traditional low abrasion toothpastes are still causing sensitivity. For more severe cases of tooth sensitivity, your dentist may apply a fluoride varnish that is painted directly onto the tooth to better shield and protect it.