Tooth sensitivity is tooth discomfort in one or more teeth that is triggered by hot, cold, sweet, or sour foods and drinks, or even by breathing cold air. Some of the causes of tooth sensitivity include brushing too hard, a cracked tooth, receding gums, periodontal disease, tooth bleaching, or other conditions that expose the sensitive roots of your teeth. For example, brushing too aggressively can injure your gums, and lead to exposed roots and tooth sensitivity.
For patients with mild tooth sensitivity, brushing with a desensitizing toothpaste may be enough. However, for moderate-to-serious cases of tooth sensitivity, more invasive professional periodontal treatments are available. A common way for your endodontist can alleviate tooth sensitivity is with a dental laser.
Sensitive teeth are typically the result of worn tooth enamel or exposed tooth roots. When tooth sensitivity is caused by the recession of gum tissue, as is the case with periodontal disease, the problem lies within the tooth root itself. A tooth’s root contains pores, or “tubules”, which provide direct access to the nerve. Hot and cold stimuli can travel down the tubules, triggering the nerve and causing pain.
Laser root desensitization is an efficient tool for the immediate treatment of tooth hypersensitivity. It works by targeting the tubules and sealing them off, eliminating access to the nerve. Most laser treatments of root sensitivity can be completed without anesthetic.