Sensitive Teeth

Untreated sensitive teeth in kids can lead to all sorts of consequences. Your kids may stop brushing if it hurts or refuse to eat fresh fruit if it’s too painful. Bring your kids to the best pediatric dental team in New Jersey or New York City at Tiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry for treatment of sensitive teeth in kids and to set up a preventative plan to catch other dental issues before they become problems. Call today to arrange for your kid’s first visit.

Is It Normal for My Children to Have Sensitive Teeth?

Mild sensitivity in early childhood is common and to be expected in a quickly growing mouth. During the development of the roots, gums and jaw, a lot of changes are happening. Your kids’ mouths are also adapting to new foods and preparing for the arrival of new adult teeth.

Although a moderate amount of sensitivity in kids is fairly common during this growth period, constant or sharp pain and discomfort should be addressed immediately to prevent more permanent soreness in the future. The friendly, experienced staff at Tiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry provides excellent pediatric dentistry and answers to questions surrounding sensitive teeth.

What Are Symptoms of Overly Sensitive Teeth?

If your children complain of pain during or after chewing, or if you notice an aversion to drinking hot or cold liquids, they may be experiencing dentin hypersensitivity, also referred to as sensitive teeth. This is common and temporary for most, but can disrupt their normal daily routines.

If tenderness is due to a minor injury, such as a small chip or a nick of the gums, time may be the best healer, as the mouth is very good at healing itself. However, if your child’s tooth sensitivity persists or intensifies, consult your pediatric dentist for a definitive diagnosis. The most common symptoms of abnormal sensitivity include:

Sensitivity to temperature change

Sensitivity to temperature change. Hot liquids, ice cream, any foods or liquids of varying temperatures are painful to the gums and teeth.

Pain after brushing or flossing

Pain after brushing or flossing. Intensive rough flossing and brushing may result in overly sensitive teeth. A complete lack of these two practices also contributes to pain and sensitivity.

Inability to chew hard foods

Inability to chew hard foods. Jaw pain or clicking may cause unneeded strain on the teeth and make it more difficult to chew harder food like apples.

Inflammation from sweets

Inflammation from sweets. Sugar is extremely damaging to teeth. Flare-ups in over tenderness may be caused by an excess of sweets and junk food.

What’s Causing My Child’s Sensitive Teeth?

Sensitive teeth can result from genetic predisposition, sugary and acidic diets, or as symptoms of a more serious illness. Though sensitive teeth in kids are fairly common, it doesn’t make it any less irritating to deal with at home. Common causes include:

  • Improper brushing. Make sure your child is brushing effectively. Brushing too vigorously may damage the enamel while too lightly may not clean up cavities and plaque-causing material.
  • Teeth grinding. Clenching the jaw or grinding teeth at night may cause inflammation of the jaw or TMJ. Diagnosing and correcting this in childhood supports healthy root formation for adult teeth.
  • Sinus issues. The sinus cavity is located right behind the soft palate of the mouth. If infected or inflamed, your child’s sinuses may play a role in dental issues.
  • Cavities and fillings. If your child has had a cavity filled incorrectly, complications may lead to a damaged nerve and root pain.
  • Calcium deficiencies. Low calcium levels can lead to weakened enamel, resulting in sensitive teeth in kids.

Dental sealants provide a good value, given their proven effectiveness. At Tiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry — in Woodbridge, New Jersey, Harlem, NY and the Lower East Side of Manhattan — the dentists specialize in dental health care. Your dentist recommends dental sealants if your child may benefit from them.

How Should I Treat Sensitive Teeth in Kids?

Some bouts of tooth sensitivity may correct themselves over a short period of time. If the discomfort persists, your dentist at Tiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry offers a variety of different restorative treatments, including mouth guards and fluoride varnish treatments, if necessary.

Although certain causes of sensitive teeth in kids may be genetic, others may be caused by an undiagnosed illness or injury. Identify the cause to determine the best way to protect existing enamel and help new stronger enamel form. Other options for sensitive teeth treatment include:

  • Different brushing method. Educate your children how to properly take care of their teeth by teaching regular and thorough brushing habits.
  • Many parents rely on fluoride to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride strengthens the teeth and prevents cavity-causing bacteria that can cause sensitivity.
  • Medicated toothpaste and mouthwash. Find products that are specifically meant for children with sensitive teeth. Harsh chemicals in toothpaste and mouthwash can irritate teeth.
  • Avoidance of certain foods. Sweets may be the hardest thing to withhold from your kid, but sugar is the number one cause of dental issues in kids. Also avoid overly acidic foods and fruits as often as possible.

How Can I Protect My Children from Sensitive Teeth?

By maintaining proper daily dental hygiene and avoiding foods that may irritate sensitivity, you can ensure positive dental health for your child. If crooked or malformed teeth are the cause of the sensitivity, orthodontic care in the form of a nightly mouthguard or more permanent corrective braces may be recommended.

The best course of action is always preventative dentistry, designed to catch issues before they arise. Contact Tiny Smile Pediatric Dentistry — in Woodbridge, NJ or in Manhattan, NY — to arrange for an appointment. Your dentist can direct you to further treatment if your child’s tooth sensitivity is due to an existing illness and recommend the best treatment for your child’s oral health.

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