My dentist recently recommended that I have some tooth bonding done to help with some sensitivity I have. A few of my teeth are particularly sensitive to hot and cold changes. They don’t bother me all the time and they don’t really hurt, but they do get uncomfortable. He told me that my discomfort was caused by my gums pulling back some, and that’s where he lost me. I’m a really good brusher. I get in there after every meal and scrub very well, so there’s no reason for me to have any gum problems. Also, I don’t understand how my gums could be responsible for pain in my teeth. Is he just trying to sell me on cosmetic bonding or is there an actual reason for me to do this?
In these kinds of situations, most wouldn’t refer to it as cosmetic bonding because the procedure wouldn’t be done for the sake of aesthetics, but there is logic behind what your dentist is saying.
It sounds like your dentist diagnosed gum recession. That means your gums are sliding up or down, away from the tooth. Sometimes this happens normally with age, but other things can cause it too. For example, if you’re brushing rough or using a hard brush, your gums will start to recede too. The enamel on your teeth normally does a good job of insulating the nerve inside, so it doesn’t react to temperature changes. However, enamel doesn’t cover your whole tooth. It only covers the top part of it, or the portion that normally shows. When the gums start to recede, you wind up with exposed dentin. The root of the tooth isn’t designed to be exposed to the elements. It’s very porous. That makes it very sensitive and more prone to decay as well.
Most people do need to have some kind of dental work done to cover up the exposed area. Whether you call it cosmetic bonding and do it to make the tooth look nicer, or use another name and do it to prevent/ treat decay or manage sensitivity, it’s generally the same treatment and process. You can try other treatments before going forward with this. Something like a fluoride varnish may help a little, though your dentist will have to apply it. It’s stronger than anything you can get over-the-counter. If your bruising habits have contributed to the problem, relaxing some and getting a softer toothbrush may help your gums recover a bit. These aren’t guarantees and will leave you sensitive as well as more susceptible to decay in the meantime, so it may be worthwhile for you to just have it done. It is a fairly quick and easy process that will give you instant results.
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