How Chewing Gum Helps Whitened Tooth Sensitivity | Tyngsboro Dentist

177406608Have you ever noticed that our teeth seem to feel extra sensitive after we get our teeth whitened? Sure, they look great but at what cost? We know there are chemicals involved, but what about the tooth whitening process makes our mouths feel this way and how can we get it to stop? The remedy to this tooth sensitivity is as simple as popping a piece of chewing gum into your mouth.

Before getting into the evidence to support this theory, let’s take a quick look at what constitutes sensitive teeth. A tooth can become sensitive for a different reasons. First, there is the breakdown of your teeth’s enamel and when we get our teeth whitened, we are polishing up said enamel. As the enamel wears down, your teeth become increasingly prone to pain when drinking or eating certain foods. Receding gums can also play a major role in causing your teeth to become sensitive and there are lots of reasons gums can recede. Dentin exposure can cause your teeth (and their roots) to no longer have all of the protection our gums and tooth enamel provide. It is this that causes the pain we feel.

Now that we know a little bit more about what could cause the sensitivity, let’s get back into what can help relieve it. A study was published in the British Dental Journal stating 88 patients were broken into three groups prior to receiving an in-office teeth whitening. The groups were as follows: patients without chewing gum, patients with sugar-free gum, and patients with sugar-free gum that also included Recaldent, a product that helps strengthen tooth enamel by adding calcium & phosphate to its list of ingredients. After the procedure, those patients with gum were asked to begin chewing. Surprisingly enough, those that chewed on a piece of chewing gum had significantly less pain than the group that went without.

But why? Why did the gum-chewing patients feel so much more relief than those that didn’t? Scientists aren’t exactly sure. They have theorized that perhaps the increased saliva production gave the patient some type of relief. Or perhaps, the act of chewing gum made the patient forget about the pain altogether. What they did find is that the version of chewing gum that helped to remineralize teeth did not make a difference in the experiment whatsoever. If the patient had gum, the patient felt some relief, despite its ingredients.

So make sure to pick up a pack of sugar-free gum on the way to your next teeth whitening appointment. Not only will it help prevent cavities, tooth decay and bad breath, but it will also help relieve any sensitivity the whitening procedure may cause.

If you would like to schedule a teeth whitening procedure or professional cleaning for your child, contact Dr. James Yankowskas at  DDS with Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentistry at 987-649-7773 to schedule a appointment today or visit for additional information regarding cavity prevention for children.

Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentistry proudly serves Tyngsboro, Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable and all surrounding areas.

Why Do I Need a Crown After a Root Canal?

crownsDentists often apply crowns to teeth after a root canal procedure to help seal and strengthen it. However, it’s not always that dentists use crowns. In fact, the teeth found at the front of the mouth are often strong enough to not need a dental crown. The same goes for other teeth whose structures weren’t severely weakened by infection or injury and remain reasonably strong after a root canal.

Such cases are rare, though, and even if root canals are meant to save teeth from decay, the procedure can also weaken teeth. This is because infected teeth are treated by removing the pulp and applying filling to replace it. Usually, dentists have to drill through the tooth to remove the infected pulp, which ends up weakening the teeth. This is why crowns are necessary ON TOP of fillings, especially in teeth with large cavities.

When Are Crowns Not Necessary? 

Of course, as mentioned earlier, crowns are not always necessary.

For example, if the incisor and canine teeth are relatively intact, a root canal without crown replacement is okay. This is because the front teeth are not primarily used for chewing, which means they are not as physically stressed as compared to the premolars and molars. Although if the incurs or canines are extensively excavated during the procedure, the dentist may opt to crown the affected tooth to restore its strength.

There are also cases where the premolars and molars are suitable for root canals with no crown replacement. Although, it is only usually possible if the said teeth are at low risk of fracture, such as when cavities aren’t large enough to require extensive excavation during the root canal. In such cases, silver or composite fillings alone are strong enough to seal the chewing surface of the premolars and molars.

Crowns Are Very Important 

Because of how root canals work, though, dentists often recommend placing crowns on top of applying permanent fillings. This is so as to provide proper protection to affected teeth, while at the same time, restoring its strength and appearance as well. Remember, treated teeth without crowns are at a much higher risk of fracture than those with crowns.

Of course, whether or not you have your teeth covered by crowns or not, it’s important that you continue to take proper care of your teeth. Remember, your teeth are still vulnerable to tooth decay. Make sure that you protect your natural and treated teeth properly by brushing twice a day, flossing and visiting the dentist regularly.

Speaking of the dentist, these oral health care providers can help you choose the best option to restore your tooth after a root canal procedure.

Just keep in mind, even though the front teeth does not always need a crown for strength, its appearance can greatly benefit from a crown. Also, even if the treated molars or premolars are not at a high risk of fracturing, a filling-only restoration just doesn’t provide the necessary protection and improved appearance that a crown does.