Patients occasionally have sensitive teeth following periodontal procedures. This may happen when unwanted deposits are removed from root surfaces, sometimes making teeth sensitive to temperature changes, acids produced by oral bacteria, and even touch. The acids found in bacterial plaque are a major cause of sensitivity.
This sensitivity can make patients reluctant to brush and floss the areas that were treated. Even though it is not always easy, it is very important to keep brushing gently and flossing to remove the acid bacterial plaque. If this plaque is not routinely removed, sensitivity will persist and root decay may occur.
In almost all cases, sensitivity of teeth is a temporary problem that will go away on its own. Follow our instructions about brushing and flossing, and the healing process will reward your efforts.
At-home treatments for sensitivity may include desensitizing toothpastes or fluoride gels, but may take several weeks to be effective. If these toothpastes do not work for you, there are numerous in-office treatments to help relieve the problem. These include desensitizing fluorides, oxalates, varnishes, sealants, and bonding agents. If you feel the need for extra help, ask us if one of these treatments may be right for you.
If gum tissue has been lost from the root (gum recession), we may recommend a surgical gum graft to cover the root, protect the tooth and reduce the sensitivity. In cases where hypersensitivity is severe and persistent and cannot be treated by other means, we may recommend endodontics (root canal) treatment to eliminate the problem.