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Sensitive teeth? Tips for Thanksgiving meals

November 21, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Foods on the Thanksgiving table always look tempting, but for people with sensitive teeth, there are tips to avoid pain.

There are three basic reasons for sensitive teeth.

Dr. Kourosh Maddahi, a cosmetic dentist in Beverly Hills, says the first one is gum disease, because receding gums expose the roots of your teeth.

"As a result teeth become sensitive to hot and cold. That's one reason. Second reason is that somebody's chewing food and their teeth are sensitive. That could be due to an infection in a tooth," said Maddahi.

After cavities another cause of sensitive teeth is loss of enamel due to grinding.

If you're a teeth grinder, some dentists recommend restoring your enamel with crowns or veneers.

Treating sensitivity due to receding gums?

"Brushing your teeth with higher levels of fluoride also tends to decrease the sensitivity," said Maddahi.

Maddahi uses a laser to treat the "root" of the problem of receding gums.

"It changes the chemical sensitivity and closes the pores that are on the roots. As a result, the teeth get less sensitive," said Maddahi.

It's possible for teeth to feel normal immediately after treatment.

A laser treatment called Waterlase is not covered by insurance. It costs about $65 per sensitive area.

Maddahi says that while nuts are healthy, they can hurt sensitive teeth. So he tells his patients to stick to sliced almonds.

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