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Sensitive Teeth: The Hot and Cold Facts

Sensitive Teeth: The Hot and Cold Facts

Do you feel sudden, sharp flash of pain when you taste ice cream or a sip of coffee or while brushing or flossing? If yes, you may have a common problem called sensitive teeth or dental hypersensitivity.

What is Tooth Sensitivity?

A layer of enamel protects the crown of healthy tooth and cementum protects the tooth root under the gum line. Whenever tooth loss/damages these protective layers, it allows heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods to stimulate the nerves and cells inside the tooth. This can leads to hypersensitivity and random discomfort and pain while eating, drinking or breathing through your mouth.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Brushing too hard: This can wear down enamel and encourage gum recession.
Consuming more acidic food and beverages: They may encourage enamel reduction and potential damage.
Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) or Clenching: Over time, these habits may lead to weak enamel.
Chemicals in the toothpaste and mouthwashes: Especially contents of tooth whitening toothpaste and substandard mouthwashes leads to sensitivity. Alcohol or some chemicals present in mouthwashes may cause erosion of enamel layer. Peroxide-based bleaching solutions may cause damaged enamel.
Gum diseases: Inflamed and sore gum tissue can leads to easy exposure of tooth roots with trigger factors.
Excessive plaque: Plaque build-up can cause tooth enamel to wear away.
Dental procedures: Short term tooth sensitivity may happen after a root canal, an extraction, or the placement of a crown. Usually, it disappears in few days after the procedure.
Cracked teeth: Once a tooth is cracked, the nerve-rich pulp hidden deep inside may become sensitive or irritated when chewing.
Tooth decay: Cavities formed in the teeth can increase the possibilities of exposure to trigger factors and periodic damage to enamel.

Is there anything you should avoid if you have sensitive teeth?

Acidic Foods
Carbonated Drinks
Very Hot or Cold Foods and Beverages
Sugary Foods and Hard Candies
Peroxide Based Whitening Agents
Dried Fruits and Pickles
How to Manage Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity can be treated. Treatment mainly depends on the causative factor.

Desensitizing toothpaste: It helps to block the transmission of sensation from the tooth to the nerve.
Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush: They are designed to be gentle on sensitive teeth and gums.
Fluoride varnish: Fluoride varnish can be applied to exposed areas which can strengthen the enamel and tooth.
Desensitizing medications: These materials seal the exposed microscopic pores in the dentin layer of teeth which cause sensitivity.
Bonding resins: The treatment involves the application of a composite resin material to the teeth in order to heal the damage happened to the teeth.
Surgical gum graft: It is a surgical periodontal procedure that aims to cover an exposed tooth root surface with grafted oral tissue. This can permanently cover the exposed root, helps to reduce discomfort and restore healthy gum.
Root canal: This is an option when pain persists and other treatment option fails. It helps to correct problems in the dental pulp or soft core of the tooth.
How can you prevent sensitive teeth?

Here are some prevention tips for sensitive teeth.

Avoid frequent exposure with sensitivity trigger factors
Floss before you brush your teeth
Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
Modify the way you brush. Try to avoid brushing your teeth from side to side, instead, go for circular movements
Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash
Use a mouth guard if you have teeth grinding problem
Cautious about contents of tooth whitening agents
Practice good oral care
Visit your dental team regularly as they recommend
Most people will experience with a sensitive tooth at some point in their life. Tooth sensitivity is multifactorial and it can be managed with different treatment options and lifestyle modifications.

In case if you have any more queries or concerns, contact mydentalpaln.in