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Tooth Sensitivity & Your Boise Dental Health

Tooth Sensitivity & Your Boise Dental Health

Boise Dental Tooth Sensitivity

Whether it’s a hot cup of coffee or a cold ice cream treat, these enjoyable foods can become a painful experience for those who suffer from tooth sensitivity. If you happen to be the one to experience this uncomfortable, sharp sensation when eating or drinking the foods you love, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common Boise dental issues throughout the Treasure Valley. In fact, almost 50% of the population in the United States suffers from it. At Summit Dental Group, we know this condition can be both painful and annoying. That’s why we’d like to help with the following information about tooth sensitivity and ways to ease the pain.

What Is Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity is a common dental condition that causes people to experience pain and discomfort when their teeth come in contact with certain substances and temperatures. This includes certain foods and hot or cold drinks. In some cases, things like sour foods and cold air can also trigger unwanted discomfort. Generally, tooth sensitivity is sharp and sudden but short-lived.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

Teeth are made up of three main sections. The hard, outermost layer is the enamel that is responsible for protecting the inner parts of your tooth. Directly beneath the enamel is your dentin, a soft tissue that contains thousands of microscopic tubes and channels that lead to the pulp of your tooth. The pulp is the innermost part of your tooth with contains thousands of nerves and blood vessels.

Tooth sensitivity occurs when the enamel of your tooth becomes worn or your gums begin to recede thus exposing your dentin. When the dentin of your tooth is exposed to certain elements, the microscopic tubes within your dentin allow hot, cold, and acidic substances to reach the highly sensitive nerves inside your tooth’s pulp. This, in turn, causes sharp pain and discomfort.

Below are a few factors that can contribute to tooth sensitivity:

  • Brushing too hard.
  • Eating acidic foods.
  • Grinding or clenching your teeth.
  • Plaque buildup
  • Excessive whitening treatments.

Ways To Reduce Tooth Sensitivity

Fortunately, tooth sensitivity can be reduced through several different methods. At Summit Dental, our Boise dentists often suggest:

  • Using a desensitizing toothpaste. You can find several different brands of desensitizing toothpaste in your local grocery store. Look for the ingredient potassium nitrate which helps to block the microscopic tubes within your dentin. If you’re unsure which toothpaste to use, ask your Boise dentist for a recommendation.
  • Avoid highly acidic foods and drinks that attack and soften your enamel. Once your enamel becomes damaged, it’s irreversible.
  • Avoid clenching or grinding your teeth. These bad habits can slowly deteriorate your enamel. If necessary, speak with your Boise dentist about using a mouthguard to prevent further damage.
  • Use an enamel strengthening mouthwash to help maintain and repair your enamel.

*If these general methods don’t seem to help, you may want to talk with your dentist about the following Boise dental treatments:

  • Dental bonding, crowns, or inlays. These methods can repair flawed or damaged areas of a tooth that is causing the sensitivity.
  • Root canal. If nothing else works, a root canal can help ease the symptoms of tooth sensitivity.

Summit Dental Group

Tooth sensitivity can not only be painful, it can become a huge hassle. Fortunately, our team at Summit Dental Group can help quickly relieve the painful symptoms of tooth sensitivity through a wide variety of safe and effective methods. For more information, contact us by filling out our online form or call us at (208) 345-8962 for an appointment.


Photo Courtesy of Nancy Woodby @