1. Desensitizing toothpastes won’t help if your sensitivity is due to cavities. Your teeth can become sensitive when they are developing cavities. This sensitivity gets worse as the cavity starts to encroach on the tooth nerve and once it has finally hit the nerve the pain now becomes overbearing. Using a desensitizing toothpaste will have no impact in these cases and postponing dental treatment could only result in an infection. An easy way to identify these types of situation is when the sensitivity is localized to just a single tooth, or two to three at most, then you most likely have a cavity in that region. Although sometimes when you do have numerous cavities it could actually affect the entire mouth. The dentist can best determine if the source of your tooth sensitivity is from cavities or from root exposure to guide you in the right direction.
2. Desensitizing toothpastes may mask symptoms of gum disease. Your teeth can also become sensitive once you develop gum disease. Gum disease makes you lose gum and supporting bones and your tooth roots become exposed and develop sensitivity. Using a desensitizing toothpaste may actually help out with the sensitivity but it does nothing to stop or treat the progression of gum disease. If you continue to avoid the dentist and simply rely on the relief that the toothpaste provides, then the gum disease is continually progressing and becoming worse. This may eventually lead to your teeth loosening and you could end up losing numerous teeth as a result. You should go to the dentist first to identify and treat the gum disease before beginning to rely on desensitizing toothpastes for additional help.
3. You can build up resistance to the desensitizing toothpastes. Using a desensitizing toothpaste for a short time is not an issue. But using them over the long term is not as effective as you typically will start to build up some level of resistance to them. So if you are younger and have severe tooth sensitivity, you might want to discuss other solutions with your dentist to see what other invasive dental treatments may be available to better address your problem over the long run. These treatments will range from fillings and crowns to gum grafts or root canals to name a few.
- For less sensitive cases treatment may involve placing fillings on the exposed roots. Unfortunately these fillings typically do fall off the teeth after a short while, leaving you with even larger dents and more sensitivity than when you started!
- Another option is a gum graft surgery to cover the exposed roots. This is a very complicated and expensive surgery and is typically reserved for the more serious cases.
- A final treatment option for more advanced sensitivity cases would be placing crowns or performing root canals on the very sensitive teeth.
NEXT >> How to Decide?
Tooth Sensitivity Dilemma: Using Desensitizing Toothpastes
How to Decide
Answer the following questions:
- Have you seen a dentist to identify the source of your tooth sensitivity?
- Is your sensitivity from exposed tooth roots or from teeth whitening?
- Have you confirmed with your dentist that your tooth sensitivity is not due to cavities or gum disease?
If you answered “yes” to all of the above questions then you are a good candidate for using desensitizing toothpastes. If you have previously consulted your dentist and have positively identified the source of you tooth sensitivity as gum loss and root exposure, then you are a good candidate for continual use of a desensitizing toothpastes which has worked for you.
If you answered “no” to most of the above questions then you should go and see the dentist to determine the cause of your tooth sensitivity prior to using a desensitizing toothpaste.
We prefer that you visit the dentist first to identify the source of your tooth sensitivity. Using a desensitizing toothpaste may sound a lot easier than going to the dentist but without correctly identifying the source of the tooth sensitivity you might be taking a gamble. While desensitizing toothpastes can be quite effective for treating sensitivities originating from exposed tooth roots, they are equally ineffective for sensitivity arising from cavities or in reversing your gum disease. And they can’t treat your cavities or reverse your gum disease which will have dire consequences. Delaying treatment will only worsen the condition and can result in pain and infection.
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity for the first time you should always go see the dentist to identify the source of your tooth sensitivity. It should not be a problem if you choose to start using a desensitizing toothpaste right away in case you’re in too much pain or just too impatient to wait until your appointment. If you choose to start using a desensitizing toothpaste right away then make sure to provide your dentist with this information to better assist him or her in diagnosing the problem. Either way, there really is no drawbacks to using a desensitizing toothpaste and you won’t be any worse off using it.
NEXT >> Using Desensitizing Toothpastes
Tooth Sensitivity Dilemma: Going to the Dentist
How to Decide?
Answer the following questions:
- Do you firmly believe that you suffer from symptoms of mercury toxicity?
- Do you absolutely require having a perfect smile and can’t afford to show any metal when smiling?
- Are you prepared to do a crown or root canal should one or two of your teeth end up requiring one after the replacement?
- Would you be willing to pay for inlays, onlays and other forms of crowns for the larger silver fillings where a white filling is not a recommended replacement? These may cost up to $1,000 per tooth.
- Are your existing silver fillings quite old and most likely due replacement?
- You don’t have very sensitive teeth to begin with correct? “no” means your teeth are indeed very sensitive to hot and cold.
If you answered “yes” to most of the above questions then you should consider replacing your silver fillings with white ones. If you strongly believe that there are serious health risks associated with having mercury within dental fillings or if you blame them for your health vows then we are not going to dissuade you from having them replaced. We have come across patients that claim their overall health has improved after they replaced their silver fillings with white ones but there is no scientific evidence to support this.
If you answered “no” to most of the above questions then you are probably better off leaving the silver fillings alone unless one of them is cracked or has a cavity on it.
The main reason we warn against replacing all of your silver fillings replaced with white ones is because of the high level of risks associated with this treatment. There is always the probability of developing sensitivity and pain which could last for months or may lead up to your teeth requiring crowns and root canals. And no one wants that! Keep in mind that there are still billions of people out there living with silver fillings in their mouthed that do just fine. Of course replacing the silver fillings with white ones will eliminate the risks associated with mercury and may improve your smile a bit as well, but first you have to decide if it is worth the risks to you.
The biggest issue with replacing silver fillings with white ones is the possibility of ending up with sensitivity or pain. But this is more likely to occur when larger fillings are being replaced. Replacing small fillings has little to no risks since these filling don’t sit too close to the tooth nerve and you won’t risk undermining your tooth structure either. So if you have a few small silver fillings left in your mouth then replacing them should be safe and easy and you shouldn’t worry yourself too much over the risks and complications.
What is the best approach to having multiple silver fillings replaced with white ones? It is best to talk to your dentist to start planning this accordingly as it is almost always best to replace only a few fillings at a time. This will ensure that you won’t end up with pain or infections on multiple teeth at the same time. Try starting with the smaller fillings and gradually work your way up to the larger and more risky ones. If you do have dental insurance, try and leave some benefits aside for just in case you do end up needing that dreaded root canal after all. You might even want to consider replacing the silver fillings gradually over the course of one to three years if you are not in any rush.
NEXT >> Replacing All the Silver Fillings
Should I Replace All My Silver Fillings: Leaving The Fillings Alone