Question: I have a tooth that has sensitivity to cold drinks and sometimes sweets but I don't think I have a cavity or ever had the tooth filled? What could cause this?


Answer: Great question! 4 out 5 patients have sensitivity somewhere in there mouth without really knowing what could cause it. Excluding the obvious reasons for sensitivity like cavities, infections and broken teeth, the one that I see most frequently is a phenomenon called "toothbrush abrasion". It is the result of brushing the tooth too hard where the tooth meets the gumline. Overaggressive toothbrushing around this area can cause the gum to pull away from the tooth (i.e. "recede"). When this occurs the underlying root surface is exposed promoting brief, but sharp sensitivies to cold, sweet. If this is the case, typically the patient will get a procedure called "laser desensitization" where the root surface is lasered to eliminate the sensitivity. Patients report tremendous success with this and often times get multiple teeth lasered to eliminate the sensitivity. While there are other methods to treat the sensitivity, the laser treatment is the most conservative and definitely the most inexpensive.

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