Sensitive Teeth: Causes and Treatment Options

If you are living with sensitive teeth, you should know that you are not alone. A large percentage of the population suffers from tooth sensitivity, as is evident by the wide range of sensitivity toothpastes and dental pain relievers that are available on the drugstore shelves. Unfortunately, without professional help from your periodontist, you may find that these products only mask your symptoms rather than resolving them.

The reason for the ongoing discomfort may be the result of gum recession, and there are a number of fantastic treatment options for this condition. When the gums recede, the root surfaces of the teeth are exposed, leading to a hypersensitive response to cold temperatures, toothbrush bristles, certain foods, and even routine dental cleanings. This occurs because the root portion of the tooth is more porous and much softer than the protective enamel that covers the top of each tooth.

To address the issue of your receding gums, your periodontists, Dr. Gottesman and Dr. Karabin, may recommend a procedure known as soft tissue grafting. By surgically covering the exposed roots of the sensitive teeth with healthy tissue, you’ll be able to practice better plaque control and oral hygiene and live life without the constant pain of sensitive teeth.. Your improved efforts at home can play an important role in controlling chronic gum disease and preventing further recession.

In a procedure known as guided tissue regeneration, your periodontists, Dr. Gottesman and Dr. Karabin, can promote the growth of healthy new gum and bone tissue replacing what has been lost or damaged. In essence, the gum and bone tissues that surround each tooth can be carefully controlled and “guided” into position while new tissue cells are generated. These new tissues will effectively cover and protect the exposed root surface to reduce sensitivity.

A specific type of gum tissue, known as keratinized gingiva, plays an important role in protecting our teeth and dental implants. Its recession from disease is a risk factor for further recession. In cases of severe bone loss, where this protective gum tissue can not be predictably replaced over a root to reduce sensitivity, a revolutionary cell-based product called Gintuit can be used to prevent further recession and halt increased sensitivity. This material has the ability to promote the growth of protective surrounding gum tissue. It remains firmly in place to serve as a permanent protective seal around the vulnerable root surface preventing further recession and sensitivity.

If you suspect that gum recession is contributing to your sensitive teeth, call 212-756-8890 today to explore your treatment options.

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Your Periodontist is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Periodontology