Tooth sensitivity can be an uncomfortable, annoying, and inconvenient sensation. However, it can also sometimes be a warning sign of a larger, more serious problem in your smile. In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, most dental practices are only treating dental emergencies. Your Colorado Springs dentist explains how to tell if your sensitive teeth can be treated at home until quarantine orders are lifted, or if they require emergency dentistry right away.
Common Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
Even though the enamel that coats your teeth is the hardest substance in your body, it’s not indestructible. If it becomes weakened or damaged, the sensitive layers underneath like the tooth’s pulp and nerve become aggravated. This could be the result of:
- Cavities or softened enamel
- A highly acidic diet
- Broken dental crowns or fillings
- Chipped, cracked, or broken teeth
- Disease or infection
Tips for Treating Sensitive Teeth at Home
The only way to effectively treat tooth sensitivity is to understand what’s causing it. However, if your dentist’s office is temporarily closed, you can manage sensitive teeth at home by using desensitizing toothpastes, ultra-soft bristled toothbrushes, and fluoridated mouthwashes. Try swapping out acidic foods in your daily diet with calcium-rich options that can help rebuild your enamel. Additionally, take some time to kick bad habits that may be the root cause, like chewing on hard objects or brushing your teeth aggressively.
When to Call Your Emergency Dentist
Occasionally, sensitive teeth are a warning sign of a serious issue that needs to be treated right away. Call your dentist if:
- You’re experiencing tooth sensitivity after dental trauma or a blow to the face. Your teeth may be damaged, even if you can’t see it.
- Your gums are inflamed, bleeding, or have pulled away from your teeth. These are often symptoms of gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss if left untreated.
- Your teeth are painful to chew with or loose, which could mean they’ve become infected and need urgent dental care to prevent further damage.
Thankfully, while sensitive teeth are unpleasant, they are not typically a dental emergency. Once social distancing orders have been lifted, be sure to see your dentist to discover the root cause and the most effective treatment. With their help, you will be enjoying your happy, healthy, and strong smile again in no time!
About the Author
Dr. Kenneth Gasper of Aesthetic Dentistry by Design has always been committed to the health and safety of Colorado Springs, CO and the surrounding communities. To help flatten the COVID-19 curve and alleviate some of the burden on emergency rooms, he has temporarily closed his office and is only treating dental emergencies. If you are unsure if you need urgent dental care, he encourages you to reach out. He can help you assess your situation over the phone and provide personalized first aid and pain management guidance. He can be reached via our website or at (719) 599-0700.