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Is it a painful event every time you eat ice cream or sip on a hot beverage? Do you dread brushing and flossing due to dental discomfort? If you do, you may be suffering from sensitive teeth.

Potential sources may include:

-Cavities from tooth decay
-Broken, chipped, or fractured teeth
-Failing fillings
-Periodontitis (gum disease)
-The loss of tooth enamel
-A tooth root that is exposed

If your teeth are considered healthy, there is a protective shield of enamel covering the crowns of your teeth. The crown is all of the tooth above the gum line. Below the gum line is the beginning of the tooth’s root, and it has no protective enamel. Instead, its outer layer is made of a much softer coating called cementum. Underneath both enamel and cementum is the dentin of the tooth. It is filled with small canals or tubes that lead to the nerves and cells in the center of the tooth. When the crown or root loses its protective covering, cold, hot, and sweet foods can enter in and cause pain.

Never fear! There are ways that sensitive teeth can be treated. Of course, it will depend on the cause, but your dentist may recommend one of the following:

-Gel fluoride treatment: To strengthen tooth enamel.
-Special toothpaste: To block transmission and desensitize tooth nerves.
-A crown, inlay or bonding: To remove decay and/or correct a flaw
-Root canal: If severe enough that the pain cannot be addressed any other way.
-Gum graft: Replacing tissue that has been lost and covers an exposed root.

If you’d like more information about treating sensitive teeth, call Dr. Chad Catron and our team at Catron Family Dentistry. Make an appointment at: 918-696-4200, or come by our office in Stilwell, Oklahoma.