Do you remember going to the dentist as a child? After your exam and cleaning, your doctor probably gave you a small cup of liquid to rinse your mouth with. This fluoride treatment protected you from cavities when you were young, but did you know fluoride can help alleviate tooth sensitivity as an adult?
Your dentist in Richardson wants to make it clear. Fluoride is not just for preventing tooth decay anymore. Now you can reduce your tooth sensitivity and improve your quality of life.
HOW DO TEETH BECOME SENSITIVE?
If you consume a lot of acidic foods or don’t brush as often as you should, your enamel will begin to wear down over time. Once your enamel is worn, it cannot be grown back, so taking care of it should be the first step to reducing teeth sensitivity. As enamel disappears, the layer of tooth known as dentin will eventually become exposed.
Inside the dentin are many pores and tubes running from the outside of the tooth and into the nerve in the center. These tubes are stimulated by things like change in temperature or certain foods, so when your mouth experiences them, it’s your nerve endings telling you to stop. The best way to confirm this is to have a dentist in Richardson examine your teeth; they can determine the true cause of your sensitivity and provide more options for treatment.
HOW FLUORIDE PLAYS A ROLE
Growing up, you might have been told how important fluoride is to your oral health. It’s most prominent function in society is to reduce tooth decay and prevent gum disease. However, it doesn’t stop there. With the help of fluoride, your teeth are not alone in the battle against acids in the mouth.
Fluoride acts a barrier between your tooth enamel and the foods you eat. It protects and strengthens your tooth enamel by preventing acid from penetrating your tooth surface. As it protects you from acids, it also restores and repairs the damaged areas of your teeth. The better protected your enamel is, the less your dentin will become exposed.
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR SENSITIVE TEETH
At your next dental appointment, ask your dentist which fluoride treatments are available. There are many ways to treat tooth sensitivity with fluoride, so your dentist is bound to have something available. This could include:
- Fluoride varnish – This liquid is brushed directly to exposed areas and works to strengthen your enamel and dentin.
- Fluoride foam or gel – This substance is typically placed in a mouth tray and then worn in the mouth for several minutes at a time. This high concentration of fluoride is specifically designed to protect and strengthen enamel.
Furthermore, your dentist may recommend toothpaste specifically formulated to soothe the nerve endings of the teeth. They may also suggest a high-concentration fluoride toothpaste to strengthen tooth surfaces while at home.
Don’t let tooth sensitivity ruin your day. Schedule an appointment with your emergency dentist to learn more about fluoride’s role in protecting your enamel!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Nguyen, DDS, FICOI, earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois, graduating in the top 2% of this class. He eventually went on to earn his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and continue post-training at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Dallas. To learn more about his practice, contact him at (972) 994-1577 or visit his website.