Tag Archives: tooth sensitivity

Headaches and Jaw Pain? Check Your Posture.

Man sitting with poor posture

Did you know that poor posture places the spine in a position that can cause stress to the jaw joint?    When a person slouches or hunches over, the lower jaw shifts forward, causing the upper and lower teeth to not fit together correctly.  This in turn causes the skull to shift back on the spinal column.

This shift can place stress on muscles, joints and bones.  Without proper treatment, it can create pain and inflammations in muscles and joints when you open and close your mouth.

Most people agree good posture is important, but they don’t realize their posture can affect their oral health.   If someone’s posture is unbalanced, it can change the position of the facial muscles causing the bumps and grooves on the upper and lower teeth to not fit properly.

Night guard

For most people a night guard helps reduce facial pain by allowing the teeth to move to a more natural position. In addition, the night guard will help prevent any future damage to teeth.

Sensitive Teeth – A Common Complaint

dentist talking to patientSensitive teeth is one of the most common complaints by dental patients.

Why are my teeth sensitive?

Exposed dentin is the likely reason.  Dentin is the tissueTooth anatomy that makes up the core of each tooth.  Dentin is covered by a protective coating of enamel.  When this enamel wears away or decays, the dentin becomes exposed and receptive to sensations, including pain.  Dentin exposure and sensitivity also occur when roots are exposed due to gum recession.

When does tooth sensitivity usually occur?

You may experience tooth sensitivity, or dentin hypersensitivity, after eating cold or hot foods, drinking cold or hot liquids, or breathing cold air.

What causes dentin hypersensitivity?

Eating lemonCauses of dentin hypersensitivity include brushing too hard, which wears away enamel, and gum disease.  Other causes include cracked or chipped teeth and grinding or clenching your teeth.  Medical conditions like bulimia also may lead to exposed dentin.  Your diet may play a role as well. Consumption of acidic foods and drinks, such as citrus fruits and carbonated beverages, can chemically dissolve enamel over time, resulting in exposed dentin.

What can increase dentin hypersensitivity?Whitening toothpaste

Some toothpaste brands contain abrasive ingredients that may wear away enamel.  Ingredients found in some whitening toothpastes and bleaching treatments may increase tooth sensitivity as well.

How do I know when it’s time to see a Dr. Marinic?

If your teeth are highly sensitive for more than three or four days and they react to hot and cold temperatures, it’s best to get an evaluation from Dr. Marinic

How does Dr. Marinic determine dentin hypersensitivity?

Dr. Marinic can gauge the severity of your sensitive teeth by using an air test. He sprays air across each area of your teeth to pinpoint the exact location of sensitivity.

What can Dr. Marinic do to treat dentin hypersensitivity?

Dr. Marinic will examine your teeth, look for causes of sensitivity, and make treatment recommendations. If sensitivity is associated with clenching and/or grinding, he may recommend a mouth guard.  Dr. Marinic has a variety of treatments for dentin hypersensitivity.  Products for home use include desensitizing toothpastes and mouth rinses.  In-office procedures include application of desensitizing agents or protective sealants.

What can I do to improve tooth sensitivity?

Practice good oral hygiene to maintain healthy teeth and gums.  Use a soft bristled toothbrush and avoid brushing your teeth too hard.  And watch what you eat: Avoid acidic foods and drinks.

I’m Not Being Sensitive – My Teeth Are!!

What is dentin hypersensitivity?

Tooth anatomyDentin hypersensitivity, more commonly referred to as sensitive teeth, can be defined as short, sharp pains that come from exposed dentin (the layer of tissue found beneath the hard enamel that contains the inner pulp).  Individuals with sensitive teeth may find that the pain can be triggered by hot, cold, sour, or sweet beverages or foods, forceful brushing or flossing, or even by cold air.

What causes the sensitivity?Eating ice cream

Tooth sensitivity is caused by the movement of fluid within tiny tubes (pores) located in the dentin, which results in nerve irritation.  When the hard enamel of a tooth is worn down or gums have receded, the surfaces of these tiny tubes can become exposed, resulting in pain while eating or drinking certain foods, such as ice cream or hot coffee.

How common is this condition?

Dentin hypersensitivity is one of the most common complaints among dental patients.  One in five people in the United States experience dentin hypersensitivity at some point in his or her life.

How can I avoid dentin hypersensitivity?

Excessive consumption of acidic beverages, such as orange juice or cola, can wear down hard enamel and put you at risk for dentin hypersensitivity. Limiting your consumption of acidic foods and beverages can prevent the Acidic foodserosion of hard enamel.  Conditions such as bulimia nervosa and acid reflux also can have similar erosive effects on tooth enamel.  Abrasion of the enamel from aggressive use of a toothbrush also can lead to dentin hypersensitivity.  Notify Dr. Marinic if you experience tooth sensitivity.  He can monitor the condition and can help remedy the sensitivity.

I have dentin hypersensitivity.  What can I do to prevent pain?Sensodyne

Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and brushing in a circular motion will minimize enamel abrasion and thus reduce sensitivity.  Using toothpaste containing a desensitizing agent that protects exposed dentin by blocking the tubes connected to nerves can alleviate pain.  In-office treatments, such as topical agents or sealants, can be applied by Dr. Marinic to help reduce sensitivity. Of course, limiting your intake of acidic foods and beverages is always recommended.

What other issue might be associated with dentin hypersensitivity?

Research suggests that sensitivity in the mouth may be associated with sensitivity in other areas.  A study published in the 2002 November/December issue of General Dentistry examined 47 individuals with dentin hypersensitivity and found that all participants showed sensitivities in another area such as sight, hearing, taste, smell, or touch.  Sight sensitivity, specifically to sunlight, was the most common association.