According to a study reported in, 57.2% of the people interviewed experience some kind of tooth sensitivity. So, this is in fact a fairly common occurrence.

There are remedies one can do at home and others that require professional dental health from a practitioner. This article will comment on the “do at home” relief. Keep in mind that if you have a large cavity, abscessed tooth or a cracked tooth, these remedies will do almost nothing, so see your dentist!

Conservative Treatments for Sensitivity

The easiest sensitivity to correct is the one caused by toothpaste. Upon interviewing patients, I’ll ask how long have they experienced tooth sensitivity, then ask if they’ve changed toothpastes or mouthwashes recently. More often than not, the sensitivity occurred around the time of the change. Simply discontinue that toothpaste and use something without whitening or tartar control components and the sensitivity goes away within a few days. This situation happens often!

When root surfaces become exposed, there is no enamel to protect the surface. Dentin is more porous and can be more sensitive to the oral fluids. The easiest solution is to use a toothpaste that uses potassium nitrate and/or fluoride. “Pronamel” is the product that I recommend to my patients. I have heard that Arm and Hammer toothpaste works well (that’s over the counter) and some prescription toothpastes like “Prevident” work well (this one has a greater strength of fluoride).

One of the causes of tooth pain comes from grinding. It’s VERY common. This situation requires that you wear a bite guard for sleep, which is the most common time people grind. Once the force of the grind is greatly diminished the tooth pain disappears. I recommend having a bite guard professionally made for better fit and bite control.

Call In The Dentist

If this doesn’t work, the dentist is called in. There are stronger products, usually a varnish or liquid that contains a higher strength of fluoride that can be placed on the tooth. Also custom trays can be fabricated that a patient can wear with the gel type material placed in it, similar to whitening trays.

The dental profession is always researching for new and lasting ways to alleviate sensitivity.   Two more recent procedures include iontophoresis and lasers. The good news is that they are easy to perform. The bad news is that these procedures cost more, and as with most of these procedures, not permanent, requiring ongoing treatment.

At Lohmann Dental in Buckhead we are constantly searching for the best solutions to this all too common problem.