Dear Valued Patient:

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and stay safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

- Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You'll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.

- We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.

- You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children's toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.

- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you're offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.

- We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at 704-364-9000. 

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

Sincerely,

Dr. Porter and Team

Woman holding ice cream wincing and holding jaw

Sensitive Teeth

With sensitive teeth, it can be difficult to enjoy the foods and drinks you love, such as ice cream or hot beverages.

Fortunately, a variety of treatments exist for tooth sensitivity. Depending on the cause, your dentist can recommend a solution for you.

How can I be sure that I have hypersensitive teeth?

Woman holding ice cream wincing and holding jaw

Dental Sensitivity Causes Sharp, Temporary Pain in a Variety of Situations

Extreme Hot and Cold

If you experience sudden discomfort when you consume something very hot or cold, you may have sensitive teeth.

Acidic or Sweet Foods and Drinks

An exposed root, enamel erosion, or cavity can also make you more sensitive to things that are very sweet or acidic.

Breathing Cold Air

For some patients with sensitive teeth, even taking a deep breath during cold weather can cause significant pain.

Illustration of sensitive teeth and causes Illustration of sensitive teeth and causes

Sensitivity Is Often Caused by Dentin Exposure

Teeth become sensitive when the inner layer, known as dentin, is exposed. There are many different ways that dentin can become exposed, including decay and gum recession.

The Products You Use and Stress Level Can Increase the Chances of Sensitivity

Using an abrasive toothpaste or other products that are hard on your enamel can increase your chances of developing dental sensitivity. 

Some studies have also found that individuals who are under stress or have obsessive-compulsive symptoms are more likely to have sensitive teeth.
 

There Are Many Potential Causes for Dental Sensitivity

Tooth Decay

A cavity or decay under the surface can cause pain and make your tooth more sensitive to temperature changes.

Damaged Teeth

A crack or fracture in a tooth may not constantly cause pain, but instead, react to certain foods or drinks.

Older Fillings

Fillings protect areas of teeth which have been damaged. When they become worn, the nerves inside of teeth may be exposed to external elements, leading to sensitivity.

Worn Enamel

When enamel becomes too thin to protect the nerves within teeth, dentin hypersensitivity can result.

Exposed Roots

If gum recession or other issues have left your roots exposed, it can cause dental sensitivity.

Gum Disease

Inflammation in the gums can make teeth more sensitive and cause gums to recede, leaving the roots exposed.

Tooth Sensitivity Is a Relatively Common Issue

Your Doctor Can Identify the Cause and Severity of Dental Sensitivity

The first step toward finding relief from sensitive teeth is to speak with your dentist. It is a good idea to keep track of what causes your symptoms and what normally makes them better for a period of time leading up to your appointment.

Your doctor will conduct an exam to determine the underlying cause of sensitivity. The best treatment option for you will depend on the cause of your symptoms.

Man undergoing dental exam

Taking Care of Your Tooth Enamel Can Help Reduce or Stop Symptoms

Use Gentle Brushing Techniques

Placing too much force on your teeth while you brush can damage the enamel. Avoid brushing side-to-side right at the gum line. Instead, use a soft-bristled brush and hold it at a 45-degree angle to your gum line while brushing.

Avoid Eating or Drinking Acidic Products

Certain foods and drinks, such as soda, sticky candy, and high-sugar carbs, are more likely to cause damage to your enamel. Change up your snacking habits to include foods such as fruits and veggies high in fiber, cheese, and plain yogurt. 

Treat Clenching or Grinding

When left untreated, clenching or grinding your teeth can wear away at enamel. For some patients, reducing stress can stop the issue. However, you may need another treatment for bruxism, such as a mouth guard or orthodontic adjustment.

Keeping Your Smile Healthy Can Stop Sensitivity from Developing

"Good oral hygiene is your best defense against most oral health problems, including tooth sensitivity."
The Journal of the American Dental Association

For Some Patients, Stopping Sensitivity Is as Easy as Changing Toothpastes

For minor sensitivity, switching to a desensitizing toothpaste can help block pain and stop symptoms. There are many over-the-counter products available, so it is a good idea to discuss your options with a dentist before choosing one.

It is important to keep in mind that desensitizing toothpaste cannot treat the underlying cause of sensitivity and may not be effective for more severe issues.

Toothpaste on toothbrush Toothpaste on toothbrush

Your Doctor Can Recommend the Right Treatment for Your Needs

Fluoride Treatment

Professional fluoride treatments can strengthen tooth enamel, protecting the dentin.

Dental Filling

A dental filling can repair areas of mild to moderate damage, improving symptoms.

Restorations

For extensive damage, your dentist may recommend an inlay, onlay, or dental crown.

Gum Treatments

For gum recession, you may need treatment such as a gum graft to restore your health.

Root Canal Therapy

If sensitivity is severe and persists, you may need a root canal to address infection within the root.

Schedule an Appointment

Having sensitive teeth can interrupt your daily life and make it more difficult to enjoy the things you love. Learn more about the treatment options available to you by contacting a doctor today.

Dr. Porter

Charles A. Porter III, DDS

Dr. Porter implements the latest developments and highest standards in dentistry. He is a member of several prestigious organizations, including the:

  • American Dental Association
  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • North Carolina Dental Society 

To schedule your consultation, contact our Charlotte office online or call us at (704) 364-9000.

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Charlotte Office

135 S Sharon Amity Rd
Ste 200
Charlotte, NC 28211

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