Teeth sensitivity - what is the real cure for this?

On &off for a few years have sensitivity in upper rt frt 3 teeth.1 have porc laminates,other a crown w/root canal. All done over 15 yrs ago. But now& then sensitive-not to hot or cold,not pressure. I can eat on it.But during the day it feels like soreness.Motrin wipes it out. Sensodyne & ACT rinse helps alot.I was told by perio 5 yrs ago it was exposed tooth roots. My dentist is not sure what to do. I suggested GLUMA. He said stay w/Sensodyne/ACT .Can you explain why this happens and what to do?

Doctor Answers 4

Treat teeth sensitivity

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There can be multiple reasons for teeth sensitivity, which should be diagnosed by the treating dentist. If the recession is present and the root structures are exposed, the root coverage can be an option. Also therapeutic pastes like Prevident 500 can be used to decrease the sensitivity. Also the teeth should be checked for possible decay and fracture. I personally can add Crest sensitive. 

Teeth Sensitive to Pressure

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With three teeth sensitive to pressure, have a qualified dentist check your bite and make sure you are not putting excess pressure on those teeth especially in your sleep. If there is cold sensitivity, Gluma helps about 50% of the time. I higher Flouride toothpaste like Prevident or Fuoridex would be better than Sensodyne - although Sensodyne costs less and helps many.

Mickey Bernstein, DDS
Memphis Dentist

There are many causes for tooth sensitivity

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Root exposure can definitely be a cause of sensitivity but by no means the only cause.  When you say that only 3 teeth are sensitive and that they have porcelain veneers, it makes me think that perhaps there is something else at work here.  I wonder why only those teeth bother you and none of your other teeeth.

There could be bacterial microleakage at the margins of your veneers, it could be related to the bite on your teeth, and there are other possible reasons.  How is the tooth with the root canal treatment?  Is there sensitivity there?  There should be a solution to this, so don't give up.

If it has been a while and it is still bothering you, speak to your dentist again, and if he can't help you, maybe it is time for a second opinion.

Martin Frankel, DDS
Toronto Dentist

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Sensitive teeth, some solutions

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This sounds like you have a good understanding of many of the issues going on. I am not sure if you have had the chance to try a couple other options. One is the application to the root surfaces of a fluoride varnish. This tends to soak into the root and decrease the sensitivity. Another option we have had good success with but certainly not 100% is the use of a diode or other type of laser to "treat" the exposed root and harden the surface by sealing the tubules.


Another concern my be that you might be clenching at night an causing the teeth to become sore or tender. This can usually be solved by becoming aware of the problem and sometimes even a simple night time retainer or guard.


Good luck,


Jeff Gray DDS

Jeff C. Gray, DDS
San Diego Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.