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Tooth Minute Tuesday

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When Sensodyne Doesn't Work (Simple Tooth Bonding for Curing Sensitive Teeth)

By Michael the Dentist

Posted Mar 27th, 2019

When Sensodyne Doesn't Work (Simple Tooth Bonding for Curing Sensitive Teeth)

Sometimes sensitive teeth just won't respond to sensitive toothpastes such as Sensodyne. If you have one particular tooth that is more sensitive than the others, and the spot that hurts is right by the gumline, then you consider asking your dentist about this simple bonding technique that helps seal up the area and also insulates it from both touch and temperature (so you can finally eat that ice cream you've been dreaming of ;) )

These sensitive areas can become more noticeable after a cleaning with your hygienist, especially if it had been a long time without having professional hygiene prior to that cleaning. When plaque and calculus have been stuck to your teeth for a long time, debriding or removing that bacterial biofilm can leave some demineralized or even cavitated spots on a tooth or teeth by the gums. In other words, there's a breach, or at least a vulnerability, in the castle walls! (if you're new here, I use the castle metaphor A LOT. Tooth = castle. Get used to it :) ) These spots were covered up by the plaque and tartar before, so they may have not been all that sensitive... But once you expose them, OH MAN...

...even a slightly chilled glass of tap water will get ya. Or brushing your teeth in that area might just drive you mad.

Once the enamel is breached, the dentin (the second layer of the tooth, which comprises most of the tooth's structure) is exposed, and it has little nerve fibers running through it. The dentin is really good at perceiving temperature changes; unfortunately, it does so by sending pain signals to your brain. 

To put in in plain english..

bacteria on your tooth for long time --> breach in the enamel develops underneath the bacterial plaque --> hygienist cleans teeth and leaves breach exposed --> the breach is not insulated and SUPER sensitive to both touch and temperature.

Most of these little breaches are just in the beginning phases of the cavity process. Sometimes they're not even true cavities. All the same, however, they need to be covered up. If tooth decay is present, it needs to be removed. Fortunately, teeth bonding comes to the rescue.

What your dentist can do is either abrade or remove the breached tooth structure, and then employ tooth bonding to adhere a special composite resin over top of the breach to seal up the area, leaving it well insulated and MUCH less sensitive. Essentially, we're patching up the castle wall! 

If you're having tooth pain like I've described above, check out the video and keep it in mind the next time you see your dentist. Maybe he or she will be able to do the same for your tooth if your dentist diagnoses your tooth similarly to the one in the video.

Thanks for reading! See you next time.


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