Sensitive Teeth: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

Does an ice-cold glass of water or hot cup of coffee make you wince in pain? Or how about when you’re brushing and flossing…do you get a sudden surge of pain? Many people experience a condition that is known as sensitive teeth. There are many reasons for sensitive teeth, ranging from damaged enamel to cavities.Sensitive Teeth

Tooth sensitivity includes mouth pain after eating sweet/sour and hot/cold foods and liquids. Often, teeth sensitivity is a reaction to temperature as well. If you breathe in hot or cold air, chew on ice, or chew gum, tooth sensitivity is also likely. You may also notice discoloration in your teeth, a receding gum line, or other dental issues that may be an indirect cause of tooth pain. Flossing, brushing, and rinsing are also painful activities when you have sensitive teeth.

Causes of Sensitive Teeth

Major causes of sensitive teeth include:

  • Cavitation
  • Damaged crown or bridge
  • Damaged Fillings
  • Gum Disease
  • Enamel Erosion

Cavities are among the leading cause of tooth sensitivity. If a sensitive tooth is not responding to specialized toothpaste, the root of your tooth may be exposed, creating pain. Visiting your dentist can help diagnose a hard-to-see cavity, getting you a treatment that will help alleviate your pain.

Another common cause of sensitive teeth is either damaged fillings or faulty dental work. Often times, an older crown or filling may not perfectly fit, meaning that your tooth root is exposed. Another common problem is that your root canal filling may have become dislodged. This will cause the interior of your tooth to be exposed. Visiting a dentist will help treat damaged fillings, as well as existing crown and bridges.

Gum disease and enamel erosion are common problems, leading to sensitive teeth. Gum disease damages the protective layer of the tooth roots, known as cementum. When your enamel and cementum are damaged, food particles and liquid can get into the thin, hollow tubules that permeate your tooth dentin.

Treating Sensitive Teeth

Your dentist can provide several treatments that help remedy painful teeth. Treatment options include:

  • Special Desensitizing Toothpaste: Blocks nerve sensations from the tooth surface to the pulpy tooth interior.
  • In-Office Fluoride Treatments: Specialized treatment, in the clinic, that restores tooth enamel and stops the transmission of pain.
  • Crown, Filling, or Bonding: These treatments can fill or cover a cavity completely, and often happen in tandem with a root canal, reducing your dental pain for the long term.
  • Soft-Tissue Grafting in Mouth: For lost gum tissue, surgical gum grafts are possible to reduce exposed tooth roots.

Cosmetic dentistry may also be considered when treating sensitive teeth. If your current dental work has been damaged, or decay has become visible around previous dental work, including a cosmetic solution will often restore both form and function to a tooth’s structure, ultimately relieving painful sensitivity.

Good Prevention

One of the surest ways to prevent conditions that can cause sensitive teeth is to practice good oral hygiene. For the best dental hygiene, most dentists recommend:

  • Brushing for at least two minutes.
  • Brushing in a circular manner, sweeping the side of the teeth and brushing along the gum lines.
  • Using an 18-inch piece of floss wrapped securely around your fingers.
  • Moving the floss up and down, making a C-shape against the tooth to remove plaque and food buildup.

You may also want to purchase a mouth rinse. Many mouth rinses contain sodium fluoride, as an anti-cavity, as well as other solutions that fully sanitize the mouth. Regular dental checkups are also necessary to prevent cavities and enamel erosion, common causes of sensitive teeth.

Getting In for a Checkup

Getting into your dental clinic for your biannual cleanings will go along way towards alleviating tooth pain. For sensitive teeth, fluoride treatment can help protect your enamel. Cavities can also be caught before they are a problem. Your dentist can also inspect your existing fillings and dental work, making sure that these aren’t contributing to your sensitive teeth.

Dental Procedures That Revitalize Your Teeth

There are several dental procedures that will revitalize your teeth. Many of these procedures are cosmetic dentistry, enhancements to your teeth that are done beyond preventative care. Cosmetic dentistry can enhance the appearance of your teeth. Certain procedures may involve bonding materials to your teeth or using a whitening procedure to help remove stains that have built up over time.

Whitening

Whitening is perhaps the most basic type of cosmetic dental care. Tooth whitening can remove stains from either soda or coffee. Many people call tooth whitening “bleaching.” In-office whitening usually involves placing a gel on the teeth that will remove stains. The gel contains a buffer solution that prevents damage to your tooth enamel. In some situations, your teeth can become five shades whiter with in-office dental whitening. There are also over-the-counter products that you can purchase. Dentists also will provide prescriptions for whitening solutions.

Bonding

Sometimes, your teeth might not be even. Dentists can bond certain substances to your teeth that will make them appear straighter. Sometimes, your teeth will need an extension to help them appear even. In addition to good appearance, bonding substances can also help with your “bite.”

Your dentist can affix certain materials directly to your teeth. These materials can augment the appearance and function of your teeth. Veneers are one type of tooth extension that can make a smaller or shorter tooth match the immediate surrounding teeth. If you have a chipped tooth, your dentist can fill in the chip with a substance that enhances your tooth structure.

Revitalize

Orthodontics

Sometimes, your teeth may not be even or one jaw may be uneven. This problem can create an overbite. Braces and retainers are the traditional way for dentists to make your teeth align easily. Braces and retainers can take a certain amount of time to work, while also being a pain to take care of. Advances in orthodontics include “invisible” braces, made out of molded plastics. These new types of orthodontics can be easily removed for brushing and flossing, while not being noticed by your family and friends.

Dental Implants

Sometimes, we may need to have a tooth removed because of damage. One of the ways to overcome missing teeth is to get dental implants. Dental implants are the ultimate solution to dentures. Dental implants are highly effective. When you get a dental implant, the implant is placed directly into your jaw in the old tooth socket. The implant is then molded to match your other teeth, giving you the ideal cosmetic and functional solution.

Covering Up a Root Canal

Dentists primarily strive to keep your natural teeth. After a cavity has significantly damaged the interior of your tooth, you may need to get the pulpy center removed. Root canals are often covered up with a filling. However, a cap or bridge may make your root canal look less unsightly. Caps and bridges are typically made out of porcelain or metal and can have a white exterior to help mask your root canal. Bridges and caps can also have the added benefit of protecting your remaining tooth.

Cosmetic dentistry practices go a long way towards maintaining the overall efficacy of your smile. Dentists have developed many treatments that are aimed towards helping your overall appearance. Some of these treatments have the added benefit of increasing your overall dental function. Cosmetic dentistry can go a long way towards increasing your dental health, while giving you the added benefit of a great appearance. Cosmetic dentistry enhances your teeth while helping you maintain a high level of self-esteem.

5 Ways to have a Perfectly Beautiful Smile Everyday

5-perfect-smilesGood dental hygiene helps with that perfect smile. The key to that smile is through the basics, such as flossing, brushing, and rinsing. Also, a good diet will help make sure that your teeth stay free of cavities. Good dental hygiene usually means commitment, while partnering with your dentist to get your teeth cleaned and checked regularly.

(1) Brushing

Brushing is the first step to perfect dental hygiene. Most dentists and oral hygiene professionals recommend using a soft-bristled brush. Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste when brushing and move the brush in small circles that reach the base of the gums. You should brush for about 2-1/2 minutes when brushing. Brushing twice a day will help reduce the likelihood of cavities. Some dentists also recommend a battery-powered brush, which works much like the brush dentists use in the office.

(2) Flossing

Flossing is important because it lets you reach into those places where your brush can’t go. Most dentists recommend using a waxed floss. When flossing, tear off a small piece of floss that is approximately 3-4 inches. Floss between teach tooth and pull the floss down to the gum. Flossing gently lets you remove small pieces of food that may become lodged between your teeth.

(3) Rinsing

Rinsing is one of the most important daily hygiene practices. You should use about one ounce of rinsing solution twice per day to help kill the bacteria that can cause cavities. Most rinsing solutions have a fluoride ingredient that also help strengthen the enamel of your teeth. There are rinsing solutions out there that don’t have alcohol, reducing the burning sensation that comes with rinsing.

(4) Diet

A good diet can also help with dental health. Fruits and vegetables are part of a healthy diet. Apples and carrots have enzymes that can help with tooth whiteness. Also, dairy foods contain calcium and can help strengthen your teeth.

Avoiding soda and other “sweet” drinks will go a long way towards reducing cavities. Avoiding soda is important because of the phosphoric acid found in these beverages. Phosphoric acid can eat away at your tooth enamel and promote cavities.

When dieting, consider the foods that may stick to your teeth or get stuck between them. Certain meats may become stuck between your teeth after a meal, while certain foods can stick to the front of your teeth.

(5) Regular Dental Visits

Make sure that you are going to your regular dental checkups and cleanings. Most dentists recommend a cleaning once every six months. During your cleanings, your dental hygienist will do a quick brushing that polishes your teeth. Your dentist will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth that have built up since your last visit.

Also, research each dental treatment if you need to have a cavity filled and follow your dentist’s advice for the procedure. While a certain type of filing may prove more affordable, your dentist may make a recommendation for another type of procedure, which will make sure that your teeth last.

Why good dental hygiene?

Dental hygiene goes a long ways towards keeping a healthy smile. The overall benefits of dental hygiene include:

• To maintain good oral health, maintaining your healthy smile.
• To prevent gum disease, which can lead to other dental problems.
• To fix dental problems early and possibly prevent them.
• To prevent bad breath, which is also known as halitosis.

You only get one set of adult teeth to last your entire life. Taking care of your teeth daily will help make your smile last longer. Of course, so will regular dental visits! Call us today to make an appointment, or click here to request an appointment online.

Consider Giving Your Smile a Makeover!

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FROM TIME TO TIME, we all like to give ourselves a makeover. Whether that is with a new haircut or a new wardrobe, there are plenty of makeover options out there for all of us. Doesn’t your smile deserve the makeover treatment as well?

Many of our patients come to us with stories about how they’re unhappy with their smiles. Some people find that their teeth are too crooked or that their teeth are discolored. There are a wide variety of cosmetic imperfections out there that are patients come to us with. A cosmetic imperfection might hold someone back from sharing their beautiful smile with the world because of self-consciousness.

We at Dental Partners of Boston believe that a smile makeover can help a patient become comfortable with their smile again. The smile makeover process is customized for each of our patients and it is geared to your specific needs. We want to help you achieve a healthy smile that you’re comfortable with. Here is the four step makeover process we have available to our patients!

1. Teeth Whitening

The first step to a smile makeover is ensuring that all teeth discoloration is removed and that your teeth are restored to their natural white sheen. Through our BriteSmile and Zoom! teeth whitening services, we will be able to provide an in-office or at-home solution to patients seeking out teeth whitening. Our trained team has experience in measuring out the exact dosage of whitening material to ensure that your smile is natural looking.

2. Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain dental veneers is a great way to conceal any misaligned, stained, injured, or chipped teeth. These dental veneers are customized for your mouth and will slide right over your normal teeth. This will ultimately provide a long lasting, easy, and natural looking cosmetic solution for patients with damaged teeth.

3. Adult Orthodontics and Invisalign

Orthodontics aren’t just for kids and teenagers; they’re for adults too! Teeth that are too crowded or a bad bite can result in embarrassment when you smile. As such, we offer adult orthodontic treatments like Invisalign to help straighten out your teeth. Invisalign is a system of convenient, transparent aligners that perform the same function as braces; except without all the metal bands and wires!

4. Dental Restorations

A dental restoration is a more extreme smile makeover option that is used for patients who’re missing their teeth. The goal of a dental restoration is to restore the chewing, conversing, and smiling function of your smile again. This can be achieved through dental implants or other restoration options.

Start Smiling Again!
At Dental Partners of Boston, we believe that nothing should hold you back from sharing your smile with the world. Through our smile makeover process, we will ensure that you are happy with your healthy smile and that you’re sharing your pearly whites again with the rest of the world. Your smile says a lot about you; shouldn’t you start smiling again and showing off the real you? If you have any questions about smile makeovers, please reach out and contact s with them! Comment below to show your own smile makeover experiences with others.

You are important to us; we really value you! We would like to thank you for being great patients and friends. Please call us today for a smile makeover consultation!

5 Reasons You Should Consider White Tooth Fillings

WITH ALL THE ADVANCES of modern dentistry, it’s surprising that an ancient technology like metal fillings is still so commonly used today!

We at Dental Partners of Boston are proud to offer a better option. New porcelain and composite resin fillings are natural-looking, healthier for teeth, and pain-free. Here are five reasons you should consider these white fillings for your next restoration:

1. The Application Requires Less Drilling

Traditional metal amalgam fillings require drilling a retentive fitting to hold them in place, removing healthy parts of the tooth and making them more likely to fracture. White fillings bond directly with the tooth, eliminating the need for unnecessary drilling.

2. The Process Is Pain-Free

We take our commitment to minimize discomfort during procedures very seriously, and white fillings help us accomplish that goal. Our simple process of applying, sculpting, and curing the filling is virtually pain free and reduces downtime.

3. White Fillings Mimic The Structure Of A Natural Tooth

Metal fillings are strong, but stiff, and make teeth more susceptible to cracking. White fillings are strong and slightly flexible, able to absorb and transfer bite force as a normal tooth would.

4. The Filling Blends In With Your Natural Teeth

Until recently, having a cavity filled meant a very noticeable and unattractive bit of metal in your mouth. Now, we can match the color of white fillings to provide a natural look that blends better with your teeth.

5. White Fillings Are Healthier For Teeth, Long Term

White fillings support and strengthen the tooth’s structure, and also form a protective seal around the cavity to prevent bacteria from causing further decay.

We invite you to sit down with us and find out how white fillings can play a key part in your smile restoration!

Better Living Through Dentistry

At Dental Partners of Boston, we want to show you how the latest in dental technology can benefit your life. Our mission is to give every one of our patients the bright, confident smile they’ve always wanted.

Thanks for being our valued patient and friend!

What You Snack On Can Affect Your Smile

WE ALL KNOW THAT SUGARY SNACKS can be bad for your waistline and smile. But there are healthy snacks, too, that you might not even know are hurting your teeth! Here are a few tips from our team here at Dental Partners of Boston to keep in mind the next time you reach for a snack.

Think About The Texture Of The Snack

Soft foods are more likely to cause dental problems because they get stuck on and in between your teeth. Something like a banana, which seems like a healthy choice, may be bad because it’s more likely to stick and coat your teeth.

Sugary Drinks Increase Cavities

Drinks likes juice and soda can increase the risk of cavities. Sugary drinks coat your teeth in sugar, fueling the bacteria that causes cavities. These drinks can also increase the acidity of your mouth, wearing down your enamel.

Beware Foods That Stick To Your Teeth

When we say things that stick to things to your teeth, we mean the obvious foods like caramel, but also the less obvious things like pretzels, Oreos and crackers. When we snack on crackers they tend to stick in the grooves and crevices on the surfaces of our teeth. This food can mess with the acidity levels in our mouths and provide food for oral bacteria.

To Avoid Damaging Your Teeth, Make Smart Snacking Decisions

Many patients have excellent nightly dental care, but still have problems with cavities because of snacking habits! Snack wiser by putting these tips into action!

First of all, always wash down your snack or sugary drink with a glass of water. This will help clean out your mouth and produce saliva. Secondly, pick snacks that have lots of scrubby fiber, like apples, carrots or celery. These foods tend to be crunchy and actually clean your teeth as you eat them. Finally, if you know you are going to be snacking on something sugary, floss and brush your teeth afterwards to get rid of any remaining food particles.

Any Questions? Ask Us!

If you have any questions about snacking, feel free to contact us and ask about foods that are healthy for your teeth. What’s YOUR favorite healthy snack? Comment below and share them with us!

Thanks for being great patients.

Let Us Repair Your Smile With Prosthodontics

DID YOU KNOW THAT TEETH are the only part of our body that doesn’t repair itself? Skin, muscle, and even bone can heal, but a hole in your tooth won’t be repaired simply with time. That’s where prosthodontics comes in.

Prosthodontics are simply dental prosthetics: artificial insets that take the place of missing, stained, or damaged teeth. Here at Dental Partners of Boston, we offer many different prosthodontic procedures.

Prosthodontics Can Renew Your Smile

Prosthodontics focuses on maintaining and rehabilitating the health, comfort, appearance and function of our patients’ teeth. In order to achieve the very best results in aesthetics and function, our prosthodontists are trained to construct customized options that will perfectly blend with your natural teeth. It’s an art as much as a science.

We Offer A Variety Of Methods To Suit Your Individual Needs

In order to give our patients the best care possible we offer many different types of prosthodontics. This includes anything from cosmetic fixes like dental veneers to functional restorative dentistry where we may use dental bridges, inlays or onlays. You may find yourself needing only a small fix that can be achieved with a dental crown, or it may be time for complete mouth reconstruction, or a smile makeover. Whatever you need, we can help!

How Do I Know If Prosthodontics Are Right For Me?

We see many patients who believe that they are simply doomed to hide their teeth–and their pain–for the rest of their life. But whatever your dental problem, we have a solution! Prosthodontics can drastically increase your quality of life and confidence.

Contact us today if you think prosthodontics might help repair your smile.  We would love to help you get the smile you deserve!

Thanks for being our valued patients and friends. We appreciate you!

Is It Really Necessary To Floss?

HERE AT DENTAL PARTNERS, we strive to empower our patients to have the best at-home care possible, as well as excellent regular professional cleanings. One very important part of that at-home oral hygiene is caring for your gums.

Gum Disease Is The #1 Reason For Missing Teeth

Gum disease (also known as gingivitis) occurs as a result of poor oral care. Tissues supporting and surrounding the teeth become inflamed and gums become red and swollen, often bleeding when brushed or flossed. One of the greatest ways to prevent gingivitis is by flossing, as well as brushing and rinsing.

Follow This Guide For Effective Flossing

Flossing aids good breath, clean teeth, and healthy gums! Flossing is key to preventing gum disease because floss can get those hard-to-reach places that a toothbrush or fast rinsing can’t. There is a specific way to floss, though!

  • Don’t saw the floss back and forth. This can potentially create grooves and abrade the teeth and/or saw off the crown.
  • Always introduce the floss at the top of the tooth, and gently slide it in towards the gum line, and even under the gum line to hug the base of the tooth.
  • Before going to the next tooth, find an unused part of the floss to use. You don’t want to pass that bacteria all over the mouth!

Your Gums Will Thank You

Although you are responsible for caring for your teeth and gums at home, we are here to help you in your periodontal care. This involves maintaining the health of your gums and the bones in your mouth. We do this to eliminate infections, protect the roots of the teeth, and keep your whole body healthy.

We at Dental Partners of Boston can help you reverse and manage periodontal disease. Call us and make an appointment.

Keeping Your Night Guard Clean

MANY ADULTS WEAR night guards to help keep them from grinding their teeth at night Keeping your night guard in good shape makes it last longer and keeps your mouth healthy. If you have a specially fitted night guard from Dental Partners of Boston, follow these tips to keep it in good shape.

4 Important Steps To Keep Your Night Guard Clean

1- Rinse your mouth guard with cool water after every use. It is important to use cold water because hot water may change the shape of the mouth guard.

2- Wash your night guard in mouthwash. Submerging your night guard in mouthwash will help kill the germs left on your mouthguard. After you have submerged it in mouthwash rinse it with cool water. Do NOT soak your night guard in mouthwash, as that may cause damage.

3- If you have a plastic mouth guard, you can brush your guard using a soft bristle toothbrush and toothpaste. Gently brush your mouthguard and then rinse with cool water.

4- Store your night guard in a protective case. Usually guards come with their own protective cases for easy storage. Keeping it in the container will ensure your night guard remains clean and undamaged. If your night guard didn’t come with a case, you can find one at your local pharmacy. An old retainer case also works well for storage.

Do You Need A Night Guard?

About one in five adults clenches or grinds their teeth at night, often without even knowing. While this may seem harmless, it can cause major damage to teeth and dental work down the road. It can also cause major stress and pain to the head and jaw.

A night guard can protect you from these problems. If you think you grind your teeth, please talk to us about being fitted for a comfortable, effective night guard from Dental Partners of Boston.

We hope you these tips will help keep your night guard in excellent condition. If you have questions regarding night guards please contact us.

Thank you for being such great patients and friends!

The Importance Of Regular Dental Cleanings

YOUR REGULARLY-SCHEDULED cleaning and checkup may not always be the highlight of your month. But our team at Dental Partners of Boston wants to remind you that it’s essential for your oral health.

Often, we’re tempted to avoid dental care because our mouth feels just fine. But preventative dental care is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Not only can we catch things that you might not be aware of, but we also prevent problems from progressing to a dangerous and expensive stage.

4 Ways Regular Dental Cleanings Help Your Oral Health

#1: Health For Your Gums

Gum disease starts with built-up plaque and untreated, it can lead to tooth loss. Regular dental checkups will monitor plaque buildup and deep clean your teeth.

#2: Protection From Cavities

Regular cleanings allow your hygienist and dentist to keep an eye on spots that are more prone to cavities. Cleanings will also give you the opportunity to ask any questions about your daily oral hygiene habits, so that we can help you have a more mouth-healthy lifestyle.

#3: Fresh Breath

Even if you brush and floss regularly, a cleaning keeps your breath smelling fresh. We also check for problems that could be causing chronic bad breath.

#4: A Brighter Smile

Tea, coffee and wine, among other things, can stain your teeth. Getting cleanings every six months can remove stains and buildup, brightening your smile naturally.

Dental Cleanings Help Your Overall Health Too

Regular dental cleanings are important for your overall health, too. Regular dental cleanings can lower the risk of problems like stroke and heart disease. Dental exams also frequently find evidence of other harmful diseases.

Schedule Your Checkup With Us Today!

Dental cleanings might sometimes feel like a hassle; one more thing in a busy day. But we believe that you should be comfortable and confident in the dental office. In fact, taking some time to relax in the dental chair might be the opportunity to put your feet up that you’ve been waiting for all week.

Call and schedule your cleaning today! We would love to help keep your smile bright and healthy!