Dr. Stephen A. Price


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Ways to Reduce Sensitivity

By: | Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 | General Dentistry

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

general dentistryTooth sensitivity is a bigger problem than many people imagine. Because of the widespread nature of this condition, and the availability of oral care products formulated for sensitive teeth, many people who struggle to enjoy meals never broach the topic with their dentist. This could be a mistake! We have a few different ways that we can help patients resolve the source of their sensitivity. When this is done, quality of life improves.

There is no singular cause that incites the nerves of teeth to become overreactive. The underlying issue is an important clue to how we may treat sensitivity for long-term comfort. To discover what may be behind your highly-sensitive teeth, schedule a full dental exam with your Burke dentist, Dr. Price.

Sensitivity: Causes and Treatments

For sensitivity to be resolved, we must address the source. There are two common sources of sensitivity besides tooth decay. These are erosion and gum inflammation. We’ll take a look at each and discuss potential treatment options.


Erosion occurs when surface enamel is gradually degraded. Usually, this is the result of acidity, or “acid washing,” as some dentists call it. When you consume a carbonated beverage, its acidic ingredients wash over all of your teeth. If you do not rinse afterward, these ingredients will sit on teeth, breaking down enamel. When erosion occurs, the layer of material that covers nerves is diminished, and sensitivity is the result.

There is no way to make new enamel grow. To minimize sensitivity caused by erosion, we may suggest either dental crowns or veneers. The coverage of a crown is ideal for back teeth, while a veneer, which covers the front surface of a tooth, may be more appropriate for front teeth.


The gums may become inflamed and weak also as a result of oral acidity. When tissue weakens, it pulls away from tooth structure. This creates pockets in which bacteria can settle in for the long haul. The numerous bacteria that live in periodontal pockets degrade the cementum that covers root structure, which allows stimulation to have a heightened effect on nerves. Cementum, like enamel, may not be restored. However, a good, deep periodontal cleaning can remove bacteria and encourage gum tissue to tighten up around teeth, thus reducing sensitivity.

Do you need dental care to resolve tooth sensitivity? Contact us at (703)750-9404.



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