How do I know when it's time to see a dentist? Is it more like a toothache?
If a tooth is highly sensitive for more than three or four days and reacts to hot and cold temperatures, it's best to get a diagnostic evaluation from Dr. McBride to determine the extent of the problem. Before taking the situation into your own hands, an accurate diagnosis of tooth sensitivity is essential for effective treatment to eliminate pain. Because pain symptoms can be similar, some people might think that a tooth is sensitive, when instead they actually have a fracture, cavity or abscess that's not yet visible.
How do I describe my symptoms to the dentist?
Sensitivity may be defined as a short sharp pain, which is usually initiated by hot or cold foods or exposure to cold air. Aching often follows. Because sensitivity may mean different things to a patient and dental professional, be sure to clarify exactly what you feel when you discuss the condition with Dr. McBride. Be sure to tell him when the pain started and if there is anything, such as the application of a warm compress, that helps eliminate the pain.
Do some products work to help decrease sensitivity?
Toothpastes for sensitive teeth usually contain a desensitizing agent that protects the exposed dentin by blocking the tubes in the teeth that are connected to nerves. In most cases, these products must be used on a regular basis for at least a month before any therapeutic benefits may be noticed.