Solving Teeth Sensitivity

la porte tx dental implant

Pasadena, Texas Dentist


Tooth sensitivity 


Teeth sensitivity can be a frustrating clinical dilemma for Dr. Nugent and patients. Dr. Nugent likes to try the most simple and non-invasive steps first to try to solve the sensitivity.

  1. Find the tooth that is sensitive ,check the occlusion (bite) and look for micro-fractures.
  2. If the patient has been using over the counter sensitivity toothpaste Dr. Nugent will recommend prescription Prevident 5000 toothpaste.
  3. Use a laser on the tooth to decrease sensitivity.
  4. Apply a fluoride varnish to the sensitive teeth. Dr. Nugent will instruct the patient not to brush, floss or clean the varnished tooth for twenty four hours. This allows the fluoride varnish to remain on the tooth and treat the sensitivity.
  5. Dr. Nugent will use a self-etching bonding agent on the tooth in hopes of sealing the exposed dentin tubules.

Sensitive teeth can be very frustrating. However, Dr. Nugent always tries to do the easiest most likely solution first. Most of the time over the counter sensitivity tooth or prescription toothpaste takes away the teeth sensitivity issues. This is great because it is simple (the patient uses a toothpaste) and Dr. Nugent did not have to do any drastic work on the teeth. When the toothpaste does not work then other options are employed.

Solving teeth sensitivity requires that both Dr. Nugent and the patient be resilient and understand that is one attempt does not work, then we will try another non-invasive treatment. Dr. Nugent will save the non-reversible and invasive procedures as a last resort.

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Common Reasons for Sensitivity

You scrub your teeth too hard.
If you brush your teeth too hard or use a hard toothbrush, your enamel can wear down over time, and your gums may even pull away from your teeth. Without a healthy layer of enamel and gums to protect your teeth’s dentin and nerves, you may have sensitive teeth.

Getting your teeth too white

Most ways to whiten teeth are safe, but even the best in-office bleaching treatment can make teeth sensitive for a short time or for a long time. Most whitening treatments will make your teeth sensitive for a short time. This is because the tiny pores in your enamel open up so that the whitening treatment can reach the stained dentin. The pores will close, but it’s best to avoid hot or cold drinks or foods until it goes away. Too much teeth whitening at home can make your teeth sensitive for a long time, so you should always follow the advice and talk to your dentist before using any teeth whitening method.

Gum disease (periodontal disease)

When you have periodontal disease, your gums start to recede. This weakens the cementum, which is the hard layer that holds your gums to your teeth. The dentin is under the cementum. If the dentin is revealed, it makes the teeth sensitive.

Recent dental treatments

Cleanings, root canals, crowns, repairing teeth, and other dental treatments can make teeth sensitive for a short time. Dr. Nugent will tell you how long this pain will last, which is generally between a few days and a few weeks. If your sensitivity lasts for a long time, talk to your provider.

Tooth decay, cavities, and broken or chipped teeth

When you first get a hole, you might only feel pain when you eat acidic, hot, or cold foods. But over time, bacteria eat away at your enamel, exposing the nerves of your dentin. They can even get into the pulp, which can cause tooth loss, sensitivity, and pain.

Broken or chipped teeth can expose the dentin or even the pulp, which can hurt and make your teeth sensitive.

Eating or drinking acidic foods or drinks often

Over time, if you eat too many acidic foods and don’t take care of your teeth, your enamel can get damaged and your gum line can get weaker. This makes your dentin more likely to be damaged by acidic foods. Acidic foods include pickles, tomatoes, citrus fruits, yogurt, and beans. If you eat these things in moderation and brush your teeth well, you should be able to keep the damage from getting worse.

Bruxism, or grinding your teeth

Whether you do it while you sleep or every day, grinding your teeth will slowly wear away your enamel and expose your dentin. Talk to your doctor about whether or not you should wear a mouth guard to prevent further damage.

Acid Reflux (GERD)

Over time, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is more widely called “acid reflux,” can wear away your enamel. Talking to your doctor about ways to ease your acid reflux could help you avoid the damage that causes sensitive teeth.

Problems with eating (bulimia)

Self-induced vomiting will expose your teeth to acid over time, which will damage the enamel on your teeth. The dry mouth that comes with this also makes a good place for bacteria to grow, which can cause more tooth problems and damage. This is one of the health risks of bulimia that should be looked at by a dentist.

Loose Fillings

If you have fillings in your teeth, a loose filling could cause your teeth to hurt. Without the filling to protect the inner layers of your tooth, you are directly exposed to germs, acids, hot/cold temperatures, and pressure. If the pain is coming from a tooth where you’ve had a filling, call your doctor as soon as possible.

Dr. Michael Nugent’s dental office is located at 3421 Burke Rd Ste A, Pasadena, Texas. He is a leader in Cosmetic, General, Implant and Sedation Dentistry. We have patients from Pasadena, Deer Park, La Porte, League City, Clear Lake, Friendswood and Houston, Texas. Dr. Nugent has been voted BEST PASADENA TEXAS DENTIST multiple times.

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