I Have Sensitive Teeth: Do I Need to See a Dentist? By Dr. John Goodman on January 13, 2024

Woman with dental sensitivity

Are you having trouble enjoying your favorite ice cream? Is ice water making you wince? Some causes of dental sensitivity, like genetics, are no cause for concern. In other cases, like a cavity or root canal infection, it's important that you see a dentist as soon as you're able to. At my Kansas City dental office, we can examine your smile and discuss your concerns. Then we can educate you on options to restore your comfort and oral health, if necessary. Until then, let’s look at some causes of dental sensitivity and when you should visit a dentist.

Dental Decay & Cavities

Whether you’ve developed a small chip or crack you’re unaware of or harmful bacteria have led to the development of a cavity in your enamel, dental damage can produce discomfort.

Root Canal Infection

In pronounced cases, when the infection spreads to the interior of the tooth, you might develop a root canal infection. Sensitivity will likely be the precursor to serious discomfort in these cases.

Gum Disease & Gum Recession

Our protective enamel – the outermost portion of the tooth – guards against sensitivity. However, when you develop gum disease, the soft tissue can begin to recede and expose the sensitive roots of a tooth. Similarly, if you brush aggressively (many of us do!), it can result in gum recession.

Grinding Your Teeth & Worn Enamel

There are several factors that can lead to worn enamel:

  • Chronic teeth grinding
  • A diet high in acidic foods and drinks
  • The natural effects of aging

Regardless of the exact cause, sensitivity can quickly become a problem once the underlying dentin inside your tooth becomes exposed.

When Should I See a Dentist for Sensitivity?

One of the only times you should not worry about seeing a dentist is if you’ve recently had a dental procedure. This will naturally produce sensitivity for a short period of time afterward. I always make sure to let patients at my Kansas City office know roughly how long it should last. After that time, I encourage them to reach out if the side effect persists.

Given the serious nature of the other causes of sensitivity we’ve discussed above, I’d encourage you to reach out to us. The sooner we can address damage to your smile, the better. I have decades of experience and all the tools necessary to address your unique needs. After a consultation, I might recommend a dental filling, crown, root canal, or other solution.

What Can I Do in the Meantime?

We’re confident we’ll be able to fit you in for an appointment soon after you reach out. But we also understand life can get busy. If you choose to wait until your next check-up to see us, consider:

  • Using a specially formulated toothpaste designed to minimize sensitivity
  • If you're not already, using a toothpaste containing fluoride
  • If you grind your teeth, try and manage your stress levels, don’t chew gum, and eat soft foods
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and try to brush your teeth gently

Visit Our Kansas City Dental Office

There’s no need to live with sensitive teeth. Restore comfort to your smile so you can look forward to your favorite cold treats in the warmer months. Message our office today to request a consultation.

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John P. Goodman, DDS

John P. Goodman, DDS We Give Kansas City a Reason to Smile!

Dr. John Goodman has more than two decades of experience serving the community of Kansas City, MO. He offers a comprehensive range of services to address all types of dental problems, and he accepts CareCredit® financing to make treatment as accessible as possible. 

To request a consultation, please fill out our online form or call us at (816) 842-8585.

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