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Sensitive teeth and gingivitis

User Level:
Posted by: xdunlapx  (9 years ago)
I have gingivitis as I have trouble remembering to brush my teeth daily. I'm lucky to remember once a week unfortunately (I think it has to do with my mental illness and medication I'm on). I am trying harder to brush my teeth daily at least once a day and lately I've had very sensitive teeth. I may have cavities again but I missed my 6 month checkup as I've been avoiding going. I just contacted my dentist through their website to make me an appointment. Should a dental cleaning help my sensitivity? I just started using a sensitive toothpaste. I was using Colgate Total (I believe). It's the red colgate tube.

How long should it take to get my teeth to desensitize?
User Level:
Posted by: mdhola  (9 years ago)
I can understand your situation. Sensitivity might be because of several reasons. It can be because of decay, wearing of teeth, lowering of gum line exposing sensitive part of tooth etc. You made a very good decision by making an appointment with your dentist as he/she can properly diagnose cause of sensitivity.

If the cause is decayed teeth then probably desensitizing paste wouldn't be of much help and decay should be filled by your dentist. But if sensitivity is because of wear of teeth, then desensitizing paste can help you to reduce sensitivity. It can takes up to 3-4 weeks of time to show its effect. You can use desensitizing paste 2-3 times a day for better effect.

If the cause of sensitivity is gingivitis, then cleaning might help you to alleviate the symptoms. Explain your situation to your dentist, there are certain liquid medications (fluoride varnish, potassium nitrate etc) that your dentist can apply on your affected teeth to give you instant relief. However, main thing will be proper diagnosis and removal of root cause for it. best of luck with your appointment. God bless you!
User Level:
Posted by: xdunlapx  (9 years ago)
Thank you for your reply. I don't have any visible cavities on the teeth that I can see in a mirror. So that's good. I'm trying harder to remember to brush and floss daily. I just started using Toms of Maine Sensitivity toothpaste so hopefully that'll start working. It's a general sensitivity like to breathing in through my mouth. I have always had a severe sensitivity to cold things such as cold soda or ice cream and even refridgerated apples. It makes me shudder. It's an electric-type of shock and pain to cold things.

I guess I just have extra sensitive teeth. But yes I'm working on taking better care of my oral health and will make an appointment for sometime this coming week to see my dentist. I didn't know it could take so long (3-4 weeks) for the sensitivity toothpaste to work. Dang... Seems like forever! But I'll keep using it.

I'm overwhelmed with the quantity of tooth pastes on the market. I don't know which kind of tooth paste to buy. I know I need something for sensitive teeth but I also grind my teeth constantly at night and my dentist said my teeth were worn down on the biting surface. So do I need a tooth paste that will protect the enamel like to harden it? I would like a whitening toothpaste but I'm not sure they really work to whiten teeth any. Oh I'm so confused. Help? Or would my dentist be the best person to ask? Do you have any suggestions?
User Level:
Posted by: mdhola  (9 years ago)
Sometimes cavities are not visible by naked eyes, and there might be something going on in between teeth which is best detectable by x-rays. But as you already pointed out that your teeth are worn down, it might be potential cause of sensitivity in your case.

If you are experiencing sensitivity then you might have worn down your enamel and so best treatment would be to block the exposed dentin (sensitive layer below enamel often exposed in worn out teeth and desensitizing tooth-paste basically performs these functions). For the desensitizing tooth-paste's effect time, it is really subjective based on frequency and also from person to person. But yes it definitely takes times for complete alleviation of symtoms. Sensodyne is common brand people use, however Novamin is newest product right now for the sensitivity. These tooth-pastes usually have potassium nitrate and sodium fluoride as their primary content. If you are are grinding your teeth, then your dentist might recommend you to use night guard in order to protect rest of teeth.

You can discuss more with your dentist. Best!