Gentle Dental of West Chester
125 Turner Lane, West Chester, PA 19380

Identifying and Preventing Issues with Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth Sensitivity

It is quite common to hear people make reference to their sensitive teeth. Generally speaking, they are simply talking about the sharp or painful sensations in the teeth that may occur when consuming food or drinks that are either very cold or very hot, or perhaps when teeth collide into one another or are touched with the tongue. When speaking of tooth sensitivity, it is useful to understand the two categories of sensitive teeth: dentinal tooth sensitivity and pulpal tooth sensitivity.

Dentinal tooth sensitivity occurs when a tooth’s middle layer, otherwise known as dentin, becomes exposed. Under ideal circumstances, the dentin remains fully covered by enamel from the gumline upward and by cementum beneath. Dentin is made up of miniscule openings known as tubules, which in turn contain nerve branches stemming from the pulp of the tooth. Exposure of the dentin to extreme temperatures such as those experienced when drinking hot or cold beverages can lead to irritation of these nerves. Sensitive teeth are the end result.

Some of the most common reasons for exposure of the dentin include excessively vigorous tooth brushing, shoddy dental care that leads to tartar buildup, untreated decay, faulty fillings, tooth whitening processes, frequent consumption of acidic foods and drinks, and the simple wear and tear on the teeth that comes with age.

In cases of pulpal tooth sensitivity, only one tooth will likely be affected when its nerves and blood vessels are irritated. Common causes of this type of sensitivity include things such as ongoing tooth decay, untreated infection, recent dental work, cracks in the tooth, and pressure resulting from tooth grinding.

Family dentistry professionals characterize dentinal and pulpal sensitivity as being painful reactions to extreme temperatures, as well as pressure. Sensitivity to cold is most typical, and sensitivity to hot substances can indicate the need for root canal treatment. To diagnose tooth sensitivity, see a dentist in West Chester who will take x-rays, take a full dental history, and conduct an examination to identify decay or problematic fillings.

Fortunately, prevention techniques exist in family dentistry that can lower the risk of developing dentinal sensitivity and also alleviate existing symptoms of sensitive teeth, including twice-daily brushing and flossing, using dental care products formulated for tooth sensitivity, brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and seeking dental care for habitual tooth grinding. Pulpal sensitivity cannot truly be prevented, but, when necessary, prompt root canal treatment from a dentist in West Chester can eliminate the tooth sensitivity.

To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in West Chester, call Gentle Dental of West Chester today at (484) 643-4417 or make an appointment.

Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in West Chester. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of West Chester, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of West Chester. 

Read What Our Patients Say
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Most professional, friendly and accomodating.
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Great folks to be around during a trip to the dentist. Everything went perfectly! I was in and out before I knew it.
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Great service and everyone was extremely helpful and informative.
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Always a good experience
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Difficult situation worked out very well so far.
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I have finally found a dentist (Dr. Valentine) who is absolutely amazing. She is professional, sincere and efficient. I never leave her office […]
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Great appointment as always!
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I was very pleased with Dr. Valentine's professional work. She always makes me feel very comfortable!
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Anonymous
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Made me feel comfortable and people were friendly
Pamela J.
I was able to get in the same day for a broken filling replacement. I was explained my options to fix the tooth along with the financial impact […]
Curt L.
Fast and painless tooth extraction
Chris N.
I was taken on time. Service was quick and painless. I had a filling done and a cleaning the previous week. Everyone from the receptionist to the […]
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I have been seeing Dr. Penfil for over 25 years and highly recommend this dentist!
Anonymous
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David G.
Still amazing! Dr. Penfil and Laura! They are awesome!
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Painless!
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Anonymous
The office was clean and the staff was friendly and professional. The doctor was very caring and helpful.
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Excellent service and great advice.
Lee T.
I have been treated with respect from the front desk, Dentist to the paying of my bill. This is from a life long dentist hater who is no longer in […]
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Caring, patient treatment. Answered all of my questions and kept me apprised of what was going on. Friendly, excellent and painless care. Very good!
Daniel M.
Dr. Valentine is very personable, and truly seems to care. She makes sure that you see your X-rays in order to understand exactly what may be an […]
Thomas S.
Everyone at Gentle Dental is professional and polite. Dr. Valentine checked out my situation and provided me with her professional opinion and […]
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Dr Valentine continues to be the best dentist I've seen. Quick, painless, efficient. Couldn't be happier.
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This is my first visit. The staff is very nice on the phone and in person. I really like Dr. Valentine. She is thorough,caring of my needs and made […]
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treatment was very gentle
Anonymous
Friendly, accommodating, and most importantly the work that's been done on my teeth is fantastic. I could ask for anything more in a practice.
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very good dentist would recommend to anyone.
Elwood C.
polite and painless
Douglas L.
Very accommodating
James K.
Dr Penfill is very, very thorough
David G.
Saw me immediately for dental emergency
James K.
Every one is so nice and they make you feel comfortable !!
Pamela J.
Always on time for appointments and very friendly staff.
Anonymous
I had a good experience this past Friday. I had 2 teeth extracted by Dr. Valentine. She did a great job. She is very nice and professional at the […]
Patricia D.
As always, everyone in the West Chester office are awesome!
Lucy D.
very through
Beverly J.
As always, I had a great visit.
Lucy D.
As always, everyone that works at Gentle Dental West Chester are awesome.
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  • Monday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
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