Are your teeth sensitive? Many patients suffer from tooth sensitivity for a variety of reasons.


Most commonly, exposed roots or thin enamel can make teeth sensitive to cold, heat, sweets, and dental cleanings. Teeth are comprised of microscopic dental tubules, which stimulate the nerves inside of teeth. When something touches these exposed tubules, a sharp stimulus reaches the nerve, causing a jolt of pain. Tooth sensitivity can be so severe that people stop enjoying certain foods and drinks to avoid pain.


Another reason teeth may be sensitive is a result of clenching or grinding your teeth. Many patients unconsciously grind their teeth in their sleep. Most are completely unaware they are doing this! Our jaw muscles are capable of exerting far more strength while we are asleep than when we are awake. Even just a few seconds of clenching or grinding on a regular basis can cause straining and overuse of the jaw muscles, ligaments, and damage the teeth. Over time, this damage results in sensitive teeth.


Dr. Susie Shin D.D.S., M.A.G.D. is dedicated to helping her patients alleviate their sensitive teeth. In Dr. Shin’s office, there are a variety of ways sensitive teeth can be addressed. During your cleaning, our gentle hygienists can place a topical numbing gel on areas that are too sensitive to provide you comfort. Optional fluoride varnish can be placed after the cleaning to strengthen tooth enamel and cover over exposed dental tubules. Laser therapy can also be used to comfortably reduce sensitivity on localized exposed root surfaces. In certain instances, a tooth-colored filling can be placed over an exposed root to provide insulation and create a better appearance.


In addition to in-office desensitization treatments, Dr. Shin also offers techniques her patients can use at home to help their condition. Using a prescription-strength fluoridated toothpaste significantly reduces severe sensitivity long-term, and also has the added benefit of preventing cavities as well. If it is determined you have been clenching or grinding your teeth, a custom guard worn at night reduces further damage done to your natural teeth. Worn during the night, the guard reduces the forces exerted by your jaws and prevents the enamel from being ground down further.


Talk to Dr. Shin today for an assessment of what is causing your teeth to be sensitive. With so many options for treatment, tooth sensitivity doesn’t have to be something you suffer from anymore. Be on your way a pain-free smile through the care of Dr. Shin and her knowledgeable staff!


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“Dr. Shin is friendly and great at communicating.  The staff are knowledgeable and go out their way to help patients. They are super speedy without compromising accuracy or helpfulness. I always leave Dr. Shin’s office feeling good and smiling wide!”    Claire S.



450 Sutter St., Suite 1630
San Francisco, CA 94108

(415) 986-6900


Monday: Closed

Tuesday: 8am-5pm

Wednesday: 10am-7pm

Thursday: 9am-6pm

Friday: 8am-5pm 

Saturday: 8am-3pm

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