Having sensitive teeth is an unpleasant experience because you will have to avoid eating either hot beverages or cold drinks. If this is the type of experience you have, you need to once and for all treat this painful condition. According to the AGD (Academy of General Dentistry), approximately 40 million US citizens experience teeth-sensitivity. So, what causes teeth sensitivity? To get to the answer to this query, let us dive into its origins, its causality, and its treatments.
Background of Dentin Hypersensitivity
Dentin can be described as the components that make up the inside part of your tooth. Dentin comprises of the small nerve endings and the microscopic tubules. To protect the dentin from outside forces, the tooth enamel crowns this part of the tooth, as the dentin extends down to the root of the tooth where it is protected by the cementum.
According to ADA (American Dental Association), the hypersensitivity of dentin happens when the dentin is exposed to the external environment after to the enamel breaks down. When the enamel is worn out, it reveals the tiny nerve endings to sticky, acidic, hot and cold foods which cause a lot of pain.
Causes of sensitive teeth
The following dental issues can cause sensitive teeth:
- Tooth erosion because of highly acidic beverages and foods
- Teeth grinding at night
- Using of hard toothbrush that will wear out the enamel and gripping the toothbrush hard while brushing hard
- Broken teeth, worn out the leaky filling and tooth decay that expose the dentin
- A recession of the gums that leave your root exposed.
Temporary post dental treatment sensitivity after procedures such as fillings, tooth bleaching and placing of crowns
Preliminary dental treatment
Booking a consultative appointment with your dentist is the first step to getting relief from the uncomfortable feeling. When you are with your dentist, describe the symptoms you experience, explain when you started getting the pain and also mention what the triggers are for the feeling of sensitivity. Additionally, even indicate if there are things that make it feel much better.
After the dental examination and the origin of the sensitivity is clear-cut, the dentist will treat the underlying factors. The treatment might be as simple as replacing a worn our filling or filling in a cavity. But if your discomfort originates from gum loss exposing the surfaces of your roots, a gum graft may be suggested by your dentist, which a periodontist would happily undertake so that the tooth and the root surface can be taken care of.
How to prevent tooth sensitivity
It is possible to reduce the sensitivity of your teeth by maintaining good dental hygiene that will help to prevent a periodontal disease or formation of receding gums. The most common ways of reducing your sensitivity are brushing and flossing your teeth regularly and also using low-abrasion toothpaste to help reduce any slight chance of having sensitive teeth.
Eating a less acidic food or beverage can also help to prevent the formation of sensitive teeth. If it comes to the point in time when you start ignoring a sensitive tooth, you will be adding salt to injury. You will be opening up the floodgates of other dental problems, especially if the pain makes you avoid good habits of brushing, which then makes your tooth vulnerable to gum disease and tooth decay.
You can also plan to be going for routine x-rays to help identify any tooth decay early enough. You should even plan to have biyearly cleaning to remove stubborn plaque to maintain good oral health. You can also plan to have a cleaning routine that you can stick with. It has been shown that brushing and flossing easily prevent gingivitis.
When brushing your teeth, use a toothbrush that has soft bristles. It is easy to stimulate pain when you use a hard plastic brush because it can get through to the dentin over time. Before brushing your teeth, try to pass the toothbrush under warm water to make the bristles softer.
There are situations that you might not see any apparent cause of the pain you are feeling. Even in these situations, the dentist has several treatments that can help to manage the sensitivity of your teeth. An in-office fluoride gel can be applied by your dentist to make the enamel of your teeth strong enough and also reduce the painful experiences. There are also some OTC desensitizing tubes of toothpaste that are used to block off the nerve endings in the dentin that is exposed.
These desensitizing toothpaste can be used regularly to get the best results that are noticeable in a matter of weeks. After brushing your teeth, the dentist can also recommend the application of the desensitizing toothpaste on the affected areas.
If you discover that the basis of your tooth sensitivity is linked with the grinding of teeth during the night time, talk to your dentist about using a mouthguard that you can wear at night. It is possible to purchase an already made mouthguard from a local drugstore; your dentist can also make a custom fit mouthguard piece for you.
Teeth whitening procedures can make your teeth to sparkle, but the process involves the use of chemicals that can irritate the nerve endings in your tooth. Stay clear of any whitening agents and clean your teeth as often as you can after eating sugary foods.
The cause of sensitive teeth is usually a mystery that can be solved only with the help of your dentist. If you feel you are experiencing the effects of sensitive teeth, book an appointment with your dentist so that you can resume eating the foods that you love.