Can Children Experience Tooth Sensitivity?
Just like adults, children can experience tooth sensitivity, which is often characterized by an unpleasant stinging, tingling, or painful sensation after eating hot or cold foods, or after teeth brushing. We, at Smile Explorers Pediatric Dentistry, will help determine the cause of your child’s tooth sensitivity and will work to alleviate the discomfort. We are here to support your child’s oral health every step of the way!
Why Do Teeth Become Sensitive?
Tooth sensitivity occurs when the dentin, a porous tissue under the tooth enamel, becomes exposed. The dentin houses microscopic channels called tubules, which are the pathways to the nerve. When these tubules are exposed due to enamel loss or receding gum tissue, the nerves become easily triggered by stimuli, including brushing teeth, hot or cold, or in some cases, sugary treats. A tooth is considered sensitive when the discomfort is immediate but subsides soon after the removal of the trigger.
Causes Of Tooth Sensitivity in Children
Permanent Teeth Coming In: When your child starts losing baby teeth and growing permanent one, it won’t take much to cause tooth pain and sensitivity. Hot, cold, and air can all make painful contact.
Tooth Damage: A chipped or cracked tooth with exposed dentin can cause sensitivity. Chips and cracks can occur due to trauma, biting down on hard foods, or by nighttime grinding, a condition known as bruxism.
Improper Tooth Brushing Techniques: Brushing too hard often results in tooth enamel and gum erosion, which can make your child’s teeth more sensitive to hot and cold.
Tooth Decay and Cavities: Tooth decay and cavities can cause tooth sensitivity and discomfort, and will need prompt treatment to prevent the condition from progressing.
Sinus Problems: Sinus problems often cause tooth sensitivity near the top of the mouth. As the sinus pressure builds, it can cause pain similar to that of infected teeth.
Silver Fillings: Silver tooth fillings sometimes cause tooth sensitivity. This type of restoration is extremely sensitive to changes in temperature. It may also cause the teeth to expand and contract quickly, putting more pressure on the tooth nerve and potentially causing hairline cracks, which can result in tooth sensitivity.
Treating Tooth Sensitivity in Children
Proper Oral Hygiene Practices: Proper oral care routines can help reduce tooth sensitivity. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily will keep the teeth and gums clean, and will lower the risk of developing cavities or gum disease. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and teaching gentle brushing techniques will also reduce the chance of irritation caused by vigorous brushing.
Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth: Make sure to check with Smile Explorers Pediatric Dentistry before allowing a child under age 12 to use toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
Restorative Treatments: Any damage to your child’s teeth, including cracks, chips, or cavities, may need restorative dentistry treatments, including dental fillings or crowns. If silver fillings are causing sensitivity, replacing your child’s restorations with composite resin fillings will help.
Fluoride to Strengthen Teeth: If cavities are causing your child’s tooth sensitivity, in-office fluoride treatment can help. Fluoride strengths the tooth enamel, lowering the risks of extensive tooth decay.
Quality Pediatric Dentistry in Glendale, AZ
Contact Smile Explorers Pediatric Dentistry to learn more about tooth sensitivity in children. We will work to alleviate your child’s discomfort, allowing for healthy, happy smiles. We look forward to caring for all your child’s dental needs. Call us today!