ARC Dental Health

Getting a dental veneer can transform your smile instantly! But if you do invest in these wafer-thin materials, you want to make sure they last as long as possible. Porcelain veneers are designed to withstand almost everything your normal teeth can handle. If they're cared for well, you can enjoy the benefits of your veneers for anywhere from 10 to 15 years!

So how do you do your part to keep your veneers enhancing your smile for the long-term? These tips will teach you all you need to know to maintain and care for this dental fix.

Take Care of Your Oral Health

Whatever the reason you chose to get a veneer, it's not a magic fix for your mouth. You still have to use proper oral hygiene in order to make the most of the veneer.

Dental veneers cover minor flaws and imperfections to give you the smile makeover you deserve. If your natural teeth were already discolored, broken, or chipped due to poor dental care, you'll have to change your habits. Otherwise, your veneer won't last as long as it could.

Taking care of your oral health means doing things that keep your mouth healthy. Visit your dentist regularly and use a soft bristled toothbrush with a non abrasive toothpaste. Brush at least twice a day and use dental floss to protect your mouth from gum disease.

Ask Before Trying Whitening Products

Talk to your dental professionals before you use whitening toothpastes to make sure they won't affect the veneers surface. These products usually have hydrogen peroxide, sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda in them.

Your custom made shells were designed to match your natural shades. Whitening your teeth may affect your new smile.

Watch What You Eat and Drink

Porcelain and composite resin veneers are pretty tough and are stain resistant. This doesn't mean they're impervious, though. It's possible to stain a veneer.

To maintain veneers as best as possible, be aware of what you're eating and drinking. Many foods and beverages have staining agents that cause surface stains on your regular teeth.

Staining and Hard Foods Are a No-Go

Whether you're concerned about your veneer or the surrounding teeth, stains can mess up your radiant smile. Avoid stain causing foods and beverages, such as foods with soy sauce, dark sodas, and red wine, because these can discolor your veneer.

Very hard objects can also break both your teeth and your veneer. Be careful when you're eating things like raw apples, raw carrots, or other hard objects. Avoid chewing on ice, even with your real teeth. Veneers are thin shells that can shatter, and your enamel can break, too.

Quit Bad Habits

Your smile's appearance is affected by what you eat and drink, as well as your habits. Smoking will adversely affect your dental veneers quickly. You've already known that you should quit smoking. Getting composite resin or porcelain veneers adds a new rush to this need.

A veneer can completely transform your smile, but, like your natural teeth, smoking will stain the surface. If you want to keep your beautiful smile, you'll need to properly care for it by doing the hard stuff - stopping those unhealthy habits.

Too much alcohol can also cause tooth decay and surface staining. Talk to your dentist about your concerns. They may have some simple tips or solutions that have worked for other people that you hadn't thought of yet.

Use a Mouth Guard if You Need One

Dental veneers are held in place with a bonding agent. Grinding teeth or getting hit in the mouth can shift the bonding line and knock the veneer out of place. It can be reset if there isn't any other damage, but it's better to avoid it altogether.

For that reason, some people should wear mouth guards along with their veneers. If you're in contact sports regularly, or you have bruxism (grinding), talk to your dentist and let them know about these parts of your lifestyle.

They'll be able to teach you the proper care of veneers, address teeth grinding and the causes, and offer solutions. An occlusal guard or a bite guard protects your natural teeth, dental implants, and and porcelain veneers.

You might not realize it, but the bite force you have when you're grinding subconsciously can do a great deal of damage. To prevent erosion and harm to your healthy teeth, wear a mouth guard. And if you're in a contact sport, a sports guard protects your teeth from damage if you are in a collision and your jaw, mouth, or face are hit.

Get Regular Cleanings and Exams

Finally, your dental veneers will last much longer if you go for regular cleanings and checkups. The dental hygienist has tools to scrape away bacteria, tartar, and plaque buildup that you may not be able to reach. Yes, the right toothpaste and brush help, but it's not the same as getting a cleaning from someone with training, techniques, and special equipment.

Checkups from the dentist help prevent problems like gum disease or decaying teeth from spreading into serious issues. The sooner you get any oral hygiene complications under control, the healthier your natural teeth will be. This lets your porcelain veneers have the best shot at a long lifespan.

Helping You Keep Your Veneers and Teeth Healthy

How you care for your teeth at home goes a long way in maximizing the life of your veneers. Brushing twice a day or more with the right toothpaste and toothbrush is a start. An antiseptic mouthwash helps kill any bacteria you missed, and flossing keeps your gum line healthy.

Keep in mind, the better shape your mouth is in, the healthier your veneers will be. Seeing the dentist for checkups regularly is an essential part of good oral health care. Your dentist will watch for cavities, early signs of gingivitis or progressing periodontitis, and issues with your veneers.

Do your part at home, and find a dentist you trust to monitor your oral health. Together, you'll be on the right path to long-lasting veneers!

Preventative care is an essential part of your overall wellness. You can do to the doctor for physicals and annual bloodwork, but if you're not getting regular dental checkups, you're missing out on a vital part of healthcare.

Without quality dental care monitoring their oral health, many patients don't make it into the dentist's chair until there's already a problem.

By that time, what could have been an easy fix becomes a bit more complicated and frequently needs sedation dentistry to repair.

Defining the Terms in Sedation Dentistry

Sedation is a term used in the medical field to refer to any method of treatment that helps patients relax. The sedation methods in each field are usually similar.

They can include general anesthesia, a minimal sedation technique that keeps the patient awake and alert, or deep sedation, rendering the patient totally unconscious.

Why Sedation is Necessary

If your dentist recommends sedation as part of the dental treatment you're going to have, there's a reason for it. Sedation isn't something used with every procedure. It's a safe and effective method to help you get through something that might otherwise include discomfort or pain.

Without Sedatives, You Could Injure Yourself

Without sedation, your natural instincts are to jerk and pull away, which makes it difficult for the dentist and possibly causes damage to yourself.

The Basics of Sedation

There are many types of sedation dentistry options, and your dentist will discuss each one with you. The level of sedation necessary depends on multiple factors, such as your medical history and the dental procedures you are about to undergo.

Dentists must go through extra training to provide sedation, and it's only used when a topical anesthetic isn't strong enough.

Unconscious Versus Conscious Sedation

Much of the fear of sedation is based on stories and myths. Let's break down the different reasons for dental sedation and when each kind would be beneficial.

Local Anesthesia

The first level of sedation that dentists consider is a local anesthetic. This is typically used when patients experience dental problems due to things like cavities, crown placement or adjustment, and root planing and scaling.

Local anesthesia keeps you conscious and alert. It numbs the area that's in need of work. The numbness usually lasts around half an hour to an hour.

Topical or Injectable Applications

This is applied as a topical gel rubbed on your gums or injected into the gum area. When you feel numb, it's time to start the dental procedures on the agenda.

General Anesthesia

When stronger pain control is necessary, or a patient has dental anxiety about the procedure, general anesthesia can help. Under this method of sedation dentistry, the whole body is completely relaxed and the patient is unconscious.

Dentists often recommend this type of sedation for long procedures and dental work that needs careful handling. Because the patient is completely unconscious for the entire procedure, it's easier for complex dental treatments to be performed.

Occasionally, your dentist may suggest this kind of sedation for other reasons, too. For instance, if your anxiety is so severe that you can't sit still for a cavity sealant, or you have a special health issue that you can't have other sedation methods with, general anesthetics help.

Types of General Anesthesia

Most kinds of general anesthesia are given by experienced dentists through IV sedation or a face mask. The anesthetic is steadily controlled throughout the entire procedure. You'll relax in the dental chair and breathe through a special tube when you fall asleep.

General anesthesia is often suggested for procedures such as wisdom teeth removal or tooth extractions.

Is a General Anesthetic Right For You?

However, this type of sedation isn't for anyone with neurological problems, acid reflux, or organ diseases. If you previously had a reaction to an anesthetic, talk to your dentist so they can adjust your sedation accordingly.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Unlike IV moderate sedation, nitrous oxide is an inhaled minimal sedation technique. Also called laughing gas, if your anxiety is spiking or you don't want to deal with an IV, this dental sedation is a quick solution.

Through a mask, you inhale oxygen mixed with nitrous oxide. The balance of the gases is controlled throughout the procedure to ensure you stay unconscious during the procedure. If you have a low pain threshold, and the medication wears off too soon, the dentist is aware of the signs and can increase the laughing gas.

Most patients don't realize they've even had the procedure until it's over. They may feel sleepy, or immediately lose consciousness after breathing the laughing gas. As soon as you stop inhaling it, the gas loses its effectiveness and you're alert again.

Oral Sedation

When the procedure doesn't call for you to be unconscious, or you have anxiety about it, oral sedatives are an option. With these drugs, you'll have moderate sedation for hours-long enough for the dentist to complete the full treatment.

Most dentists use Halcion, a drug that works similarly to Valium. You'll take your oral medication an hour before your procedure. Within that time, you'll begin to feel completely relaxed and groggy. However, you'll be able to respond to instructions and questions.

Oral sedative medication offers moderate levels of relaxation and pain relief. This makes this oral conscious sedation a good choice for many dental services, including root canals. Unlike laughing gas, though, it doesn't wear off quickly. You may need someone to drive you home after the dental procedure.

IV Sedation

Of all the types of sedation, IV application is the only form that puts you into deep sedation that all but extremely aggressive actions can't break. The same drugs are in the IV drip as with oral sedation. But if you want to be unconscious to avoid dental anxiety, or you have a bad gag reflex, moderate sedation isn't enough.

Once you fall asleep, the dentist will keep track of your vital signs and adjust your medication as necessary.

Make an Appointment to Talk About Your Options

Don't let the concern of sedation dentistry keep you from getting your dental health problems fixed. Make an appointment to talk to your dentist about the types of sedation options you have.

Remember, whether you need moderate oral sedation, deep sedation, or something else depends on a variety of factors. You could be putting "worst-case scenario" options into your head when they don't need to be there.

Feel free to show up at your appointment with a list of questions and concerns. Other patients have!

Our Dentistry Procedures Are Safe and Approved

Rest assured, nitrous oxide, oral sedation dentistry, and any medication you're given have been approved by the American Dental Association and the FDA. The type that you'll receive will be tailored to your health, your procedure, and any insurance concerns.

We want to help you handle your dental needs safely and with as minimal discomfort as possible.

Our goal is to help you take care of your dental needs safely and as comfortably as possible. For sedation dentistry, preventative care, and everything in between, make your appointment today!

If you're considering options to make your smile whiter, you want to know if the investment is worth the cost. It's understandable - none of us want to throw our money away on something that won't work or disappears quickly.

But what you should understand is that when it comes to a teeth whitening treatment, the answer to the question "How long does teeth whitening last" depends on the kind of whitening product you choose and why your teeth lost their pearly whites, to begin with.

How Our Teeth Become Discolored

When our first teeth come in as babies, they're perfectly white and healthy. But as we eat and drink and develop unhealthy habits, these small changes add up to discolor teeth and cause dental problems.

With proper oral hygiene, you can avoid a lot of these issues and scrub away the organisms that would otherwise stain teeth. However, some people have genetic issues like weak tooth enamel or other causes that make it easier for tooth discoloration to occur.

Whether it's your daily coffee, red wine, or soda habits or another reason, you aren't happy with your current shade and you want to know how to whiten teeth in a way that lasts. In this guide, we'll break down the options you have, how each teeth whitening procedure works, and how to get the longest-lasting results.

Breaking Down Over the Counter Products

It's easy to find dozens of whitening products promising a bright smile immediately. But finding one that actually works and lasts is another story.

The first thing you should look for in any whitener is the seal of approval from the American Dental Association (ADA). This emblem means that the level of whitening agent in the product should be safe for your tooth enamel and gums if you use the product as directed.

The problem is that it's easy to overdo or misuse a whitening toothpaste or other product when you're doing it yourself. You don't always understand the dangers, so you think it's no big deal to keep whitening strips or trays on a little longer than the directions state.

The Dangers of OTC Whitening Trays and Other Products

Any time you use a whitening product, the ingredient that actually gets rid of the teeth stains is a chemical. And we're taught from childhood not to put chemicals in our mouths!

The whitening chemicals in most products are ADA approved. They include hydrogen peroxide gel or carbamide peroxide as the active ingredient. Be careful to follow the instructions exactly in order to prevent damage to your enamel and gums.

How OTC Whitening Options Work

In small doses, a high-quality whitening agent like these peroxides gets rid of surface stains. Your teeth whitening results show up within a few hours or a few days, depending on the strength of the product.

But because they're only handling the surface discoloration, that whiter appearance can disappear fast.

Surface Stains Leave Easy, But They Come Back Fast

If you want your teeth to remain white, you have to be very diligent about what you eat and drink. Your lifestyle habits, like drinking coffee and red wine, or eating sugary foods, will have to disappear.

Otherwise, those at-home treatments, like whitening strips or a whitening gel tray, will only last for as long as you can keep your teeth clean, avoid those discoloring habits, and practice good oral hygiene to remove stains.

Having Your Teeth Professionally Whitened

The other option is a professional whitening treatment. These are performed in-office with a dentist visit. Because the dental professional has access to higher-grade whiteners, they can get below the surface stains and into the dentin. The ingredients must follow strict sourcing guidelines, so you can feel confident that when you're in the dentist's chair, you're getting the best professional whitening treatments available.

Dentin is the layer under your enamel that causes your teeth to become stained. When you want whiter teeth that last, an in-office treatment is the way to go.

What Happens in a Professional Teeth Whitening Session?

When you head to the cosmetic dentist for a professional teeth whitening treatment, you'll notice that you end up with a brighter smile in about an hour. Sure, it takes some time out of your day, but the length of time that the teeth whitening last compared to the OTC products makes this more efficient.

Depending on which dental clinic you go to and have your teeth whitened, there are different options. Some dentists offer laser teeth whitening sessions, while others use special polishing agents to get your teeth white.

Your dentist will talk to you about your whitening goals. There are usually around eight shades of white teeth levels to choose from. Once there's a plan in place for your cosmetic teeth whitening, the work begins!

What to Expect With In-Office Whitening Treatments

No matter which option you end up with, they all start with dental cleanings. This step ensures that your teeth are polished, smooth, and ready for the bleaching agents.

The next step will be protecting your gums and sensitive tissue from the bleaching agent. This is a normal step that keeps your soft tissue from coming into contact with the whitener.

The laser teeth whitening treatment is a special type of procedure that uses a concentrated bleaching gel applied to your teeth. The laser heats the gel, which serves to whiten your enamel.

How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last With a Professional Treatment?

This method keeps your teeth whiter for the longest time of all the options. Mouth rinses, whitening pens, and whitening toothpaste products have low levels of peroxide. You have to use them a long time before you get results, and they can damage your teeth and enamel.

Strips and trays work faster, but as soon as you stop the teeth whitening treatment, the surface of your enamel begins to discolor again.

Keep in mind that certain medications can discolor your teeth from the inside. If that's what happened to you, talk to your dentist about your options. Trying to whiten teeth that have been discolored from medication doesn't always work.

Schedule a Cosmetic Whitening Treatment Today

If you're not happy with your smile, it can affect your self-confidence and many of your relationships. Call your dentist and find out what your options are. You might realize that a professional teeth whitening treatment is easier than you think!

You've seen the ads on TV and social media. They're the next big influencer trend, but do teeth whitening strips work?

As with everything, it's all in the nuances, like how you use whitening strips and what your natural teeth are like.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about teeth whitening in general so you can decide if whitening strips are the best way to go for you.

Why Whiten Your Teeth?

In a world full of insta-influencers, teeth whitening products have become a booming industry.

So why do people spend their money on bleaching gels and whitening kits just to have a brighter smile?

For most people, the answer is because they're concerned about their appearance. It's not a selfish reason. Your feelings about your appearance are intricately tied to your self-esteem, and that's a mental health concern.

When you have discolored, brown or yellow teeth, it can cause you to be insecure about your smile. Whiter teeth and self-confidence are linked, so it's no wonder that people pay money for a whiter smile.

Reasons to Get a Tooth Whitening Treatment

There are multiple options for anyone trying to get white teeth. Whether you go the home teeth whitening route or head to a dentist's office for a professional teeth whitening can depend on the reason.

Common Occasions When You Might Want to Whiten Your Teeth

  • For discolored teeth from surface stains, most whitening strips do the job. However, using at home whitening strips can be dangerous if you don't follow the directions. Get a teeth whitening strip product that's approved by the American Dental Association, like Crest whitening strips. Never use a whitening agent without researching it first.
  • For special occasions, when you want to look your best, getting a dental cleaning and professional tooth bleaching procedures is the safest way to go. Head to your dental office at least a week before the special event. When you use a licensed medical professional, the whitening ingredients they have helps you avoid uneven whitening. With dental care, the dangers of using teeth whitening products are minimized.
  • To try to offset the long-term effects of aging or smoking, Crest Whitestrips and other at-home whitening products may not be the best solution. Crest Whitestrips work to remove the thin layer of stains on the surface. But what you have is a buildup of staining on your teeth. To remove stains that have been there a long time, you'll need to talk to your dentist.

Whatever the reason you've decided you want to try using whitening strips or another product, go for it! Just make sure you're on the right track to a healthy smile as you whiten your teeth.

How Do Whitening Products Work?

Are whitening strips the solution you need? Let's start by getting to know how any whitening product does its job.

When you apply whitening strips or a whitening gel, it seems like a simple process, and it is, to a degree. The products contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Both of these bleaches work the same way.

The active ingredient, either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, gets in the tooth enamel, down into the layer of dentin.

That's where the stains are, and the bleach breaks those stains up. This works to whiten teeth immediately by making the stains less obvious.

Are All Whitening Products the Same?

Just because Crest Whitestrips and other products have similar ingredients to a professional whitener does not make them the same.

Every whitener has peroxide as its basic ingredient, but that's where the similarities end.

The other ingredients aside from the active whitening ingredient make a difference, too. For instance, in a professional treatment, the dentist may add fluoride to help prevent the enamel from weakening.

This added ingredient also reduces gum irritation and sensitive teeth problems that come with a whitening strip, like Crest Whitestrips.

Warnings to Heed Before Using Whitening Strips or Products

However, some whitening strips have a bleaching agent called chlorine dioxide.

This ingredient does whiten teeth faster than hydrogen peroxide, but in white strips and other products, it can be dangerous.

Before you use any teeth whitener with chlorine dioxide in it, get advice from a dental clinic you trust.

It's always a good idea to talk to your dentist before starting a tooth whitening regimen. Not all whitening strips or products work on every type of discoloration.

Whitening products won't work on dental veneers, and they can worsen problems like tooth decay and gum disease.

Whitening Options

Getting brighter teeth can be accomplished in a few ways:

  • Stain removing toothpaste that scrubs away surface stains. Be sure to find an ADA-accepted product.
  • Over-the-counter bleaching products that have been ADA-approved. Note that these products have a lower concentration of bleach in them, so they don't work as effectively as a professional-grade product.
  • In-office bleaching in your dentist's chair. You'll have a protective gel or rubber shield added to protect your gums, and then the bleaching product is applied. This type of procedure usually only requires one or two visits for optimal whiteness.
  • At-home bleaching from the dentist's office. Your dentist will create a custom-made tray for you to use at home. You still get the benefit of professional-grade ingredients, but you use the whitener in the comfort of your own house. This is a slower-paced procedure. It's still popular for those who feel more comfortable doing their treatment at home.

Common Side Effects of Teeth Whitening

Whether you use teeth whitening strips or another whitening product, there are some side effects that can happen.

Following the directions on the package decreases your chance of dealing with these unwanted symptoms.

And getting whitening solutions from your dentist reduces the possibility of side effects even more.

What to Expect When You Whiten Your Teeth

If you use teeth whitening strips or another over-the-counter or non-professional-grade product, these are some of the things you might notice after your application:

  • An increase in tooth sensitivity as the whitener gel gets into the dentin. The gel irritates the tooth's nerve, which is why you feel tooth sensitivity there. This should be temporary. If it continues for more than a few days, see your dentist.
  • Gum tissue and other soft tissue damage if you use subpar products or overuse whiteners. Instead of continuing to try to whiten teeth with alternative methods, talk to your dentist about ways to avoid staining in the first place. Certain foods and beverages tend to stain your teeth. Brushing twice a day is good for your teeth and gums and reduces the chance of staining.
  • Damage to the enamel if your white strips don't have a pH balancing ingredient in them. There's a reason we're taught to keep bleach out of our mouths at a young age. In small doses, like you find in whitening products, it's "safe." But if the product doesn't have balancing ingredients, you may end up with enamel damage.

If you've had dental work done recently, talk to your dentist before using any whitener. You may also have to find someone to provide medical advice if you have health conditions that could be affected.

Natural Whitening Options

If your medical or dental history makes teeth whitening strips or professional options a no-go, you still have options.

Avoiding those foods, drinks, and bad habits (like smoking, alcohol, and drugs) can mean your upper and lower teeth stay white.

But if you're ready to get them a little brighter, you can use toothpaste with sodium hydroxide or baking soda in it.

These products don't work to brighten your teeth quickly, but they're typically safe on your gums and enamel.

Ready for the Whitest Smile Safely?

When you are serious about getting a white, bright smile, the dentist is the best place to start. With professional whitening options, your natural teeth can become pearly white safely.

Some offices offer professional take-home whitening kits that are custom-fitted to your mouth.

You can also have an in-office treatment with professional-grade ingredients and special tools designed to optimize your enamel's colors quickly.

Call Today for Your Insta-Ready Smile!

Do you have dental work that keeps you from safely using a home teeth whitening kit? Is your special occasion something you don't want to take chances with?

Whatever the reason, when you're ready to get that camera-perfect smile, call your dentist to schedule an appointment.

The teeth whitening products they use are designed to work safely, quickly, and effectively.

Don't take a chance on those over-the-counter whitening strips. Get a professional to help you on the road to your Insta-ready smile!

Anyone who has dealt with the pain of a sensitive tooth knows it's no fun. To other people, you might be whining over nothing. But to you, cold sensitivity and the resulting tooth pain is impossible to ignore until it finally goes away.

Sometimes this happens because of a certain food, like ice cream, hitting your enamel the wrong way. If it's a regular thing, though, you could be dealing with sensitive teeth.

Tooth Sensitivity and You

If your teeth are sensitive to cold, they're probably also not going to feel too good if hot things touch them, either. Sensitive teeth act up when they're exposed to both hot and cold temperatures, such as cold air and heated beverages. Dental treatments can help, but what can you do while you're waiting for your appointment?

The first thing is to understand why your teeth hurt in the first place. Then, you can determine the right tooth sensitivity treatment for your needs.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Something to keep in mind when you have tooth sensitivity is that there's always an underlying reason for the pain. Yes, cold drinks or acidic foods could be the "cause" of the immediate discomfort. But there's a real problem with your oral health under the surface.

If you get to a dental appointment early, you may be able to fix the issue before further damage is done. The type of dental treatment you will need depends on the underlying cause of your sensitive teeth.

How Do You Know if You Have Sensitive Teeth?

Anyone who has had a reaction to cold beverages or hot coffee because of sensitive teeth describes the feeling as a shooting or sharp pain. It doesn't have to stay localized to the tooth and gums. Sometimes, the pain radiates and feels like a knife stabbed right into your brain. (Hence the term "brain freeze.")

In short, it's not fun.

When a tooth sensitive to cold or heat is exposed to that temperature, the hot and cold can cause a severe toothache. So, you need to know what's going on to figure out how to avoid the pain.

Common Reasons for Sensitive Teeth

If your tooth has temperature sensitivity, chances are, the enamel has been worn down over time. Enamel is the outer layer of a tooth, and it's the protective covering that keeps your nerve endings safe.

Made out of dentin, enamel can erode gradually because of tooth decay, gum recession, and other factors. Healthy teeth have this protective tooth layer naturally. But as dentin loses its strength, the tooth surface erodes. The end result is that your tooth enamel is sensitive to heat and cold foods.

Dentin contains small hollow tubes or canals. These microscopic tubules let the heat and cold into the nerves and cells in the tooth. The loss of dentin makes teeth sensitive. The question is, why is the dentin disappearing in the first place?

There are reasons for the enamel loss and other problems that could make your teeth sensitive to heat and cold, like:

  • cavities
  • early stages of tooth decay
  • teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • untreated gum disease
  • infection in the gum tissue causing receding gums and eventual tooth loss
  • using a toothbrush without soft bristles or products not approved by the American Dental Association
  • neglecting to avoid acidic foods
  • a tooth injury like a cracked tooth

While these are the most common reasons you may end up with sensitive teeth, it could also be from your daily habits. Using tobacco products and poor oral hygiene will cause sensitive dentin, gum disease, and loss of tooth enamel, too.

Treating Tooth Sensitivity

When you first notice the cold sensitivity or other sensations, there are a few at-home things you can do to see if it helps.

First, get a soft-bristled brush if you don't already have one. Stop using whitening toothpaste or any mouthwashes that are alcohol-based. These can be too harsh and will make your teeth sensitive. If those changes don't make a big difference, look for signs that you're grinding teeth in your sleep.

This will hurt both the enamel and your jaw. You may notice that you have a headache, neck, or shoulder pain for "no reason."

Treatment for Bruxism

If you do think you're grinding your teeth, contact a dental professional ASAP. This could be the result of stress, or you might need someone to provide medical advice about sleeping disorders. The dental office can limit the damage by offering enamel covers like mouth guards.

In the meantime, your medical doctor can help you come up with a treatment plan for your grinding, officially known as bruxism. There's an underlying cause that is making you grind and clench in your sleep, and if you don't find out what it is, it could be dangerous.

Basic Treatments for a Sensitive Tooth

The type of dental work you'll need to fix a sensitive tooth depends on the reason and how far gone the problem is.

The first step is prevention. Your dentist can work with you to change your oral hygiene habits and avoid further damage from happening. This starts by avoiding foods and beverages that are known to cause enamel loss, such as those with a lot of acid and sugar.

Then, you can use desensitizing toothpaste, brush regularly, and use floss and mouthwash to help protect your teeth and the gum line. But if you see your gums recede and the cold and heat sensitivity continues, it's time to move on to the next step.

Strengthening the Enamel

The enamel protects your roots and avoids exposure to the nerve endings that make your teeth sensitive. To reduce sensitivity, a fluoride gel may be suggested. Using this consistently strengthens tooth enamel and restores the protective layer that was damaged on your teeth. This can be completed through an in office technique during office hours, or at home with special products.

Root Canal Therapy

Tooth sensitivity caused by a cavity can be fixed with a sealant. But if your tooth has become sensitive to cold because of gum disease, you have receding gums, or your tooth roots are visible, you may need a root canal.

This procedure is a process in which the infection in the pulp of your teeth is cleaned out. When the gum line and tooth are no longer contaminated, the dentist will put a dental crown in to cover the visible roots.

Why is Your Tooth Sensitive? We Can Help.

Whether you need to stop your gum line from receding or avoid missing teeth from decay, a trip to the dentist is in order when your teeth are sensitive. Contact our office today to see how we can help you get or keep your oral health in optimal shape.

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