Often your teeth became sensitive to hot, cold, sweet food or drinks. The pain can happen suddenly harsh or can be some sort of discomfort.
There can be different factors to tooth sensitivity also called dentinal hypersensitivity but it’s always caused by exposure of dentinal tubules which transmit the stimuli to the pulp of the tooth or the so called nerve. Some of these factors are:
- Recession of the gums- the exposure of the dental root causes exposure of the cement which is a tissue not as capable as the enamel to isolate stimuli to the dentine. The accumulation of dental plaque is the main cause of gum recession which leads to gum disease.
- Tooth decay– if it is in the first steps of the process, it causes demineralisation of the enamel with exposure of dentinal tubules therefore hypersensitivity.
- Abrasion – Some people have hypersensitivity because a condition called “Bruxism”, they have abrasion of the occlusal surface of the teeth cause of grinding the teeth together mostly during the sleep. These abrasions expose dentinal tubules because of the consummation of the enamel. Another form of abrasion is the one caused by the wrong way of using the toothbrush with too much force , or misuse of professional equipment (needle for tailors, they keep it between teeth,etc).
- After whitening your teeth- dentinal hypersensitivity can happen after whitening you teeth, this is due to the ingredients of the whitening substance which cleans the enamel from all colorizing substances and removes the smear layer opening dentinal tubules, causing the transmission of the cold, or hot to the pulp.
- Diet- some people use a lot of acid food in the daily diet. This substances cause erosion of enamel and dentine opening dentinal tubules the same way does the whitening substance although in a lower level. Some type of this food are: oranges, lemons or drink like soda.
- Diseases – there is an increased risk for sensitive tooth in bulimics or patient who suffers from gastro-esophageal reflux. Both of these diseases cause the reflux of the acid in the stomach which has great erosive power over enamel.
Prevention of the dentinal hypersensitivity– all you need to do to prevent sensitive tooth is to:
- Take care of your dental hygiene, preventing dental plaque accumulation, brushing at least twice a day and flossing.
- Properly use the toothbrush, this means not using excessive force or a hard toothbrush.
- Avoid tooth brushing for 2-3 hours after eating acidic foods or drinks.
Home remedies for sensitive teeth (dentinal hypersensitivity)– these remedies include desensitizing toothpastes or dentifrices, potassium salt, mouthwashes and chewing gum. Desensitizing toothpaste contain potassium nitrate. The hypothesis is that potassium ions diffuse in the dentinal tubules and inactivate the nerves, but its mechanism is still uncertain. Several trials have shown that toothpaste with potassium reduces dentinal hypersensitivity, but careful, rinsing after brushing with this toothpastes’ reduce their efficacy.
Also mouthwashes that contain potassium salts and fluorides can reduce hypersensitivity, although in lower degree than toothpastes.
Professional treatment for sensitive teeth – These treatments include using fluorides, or potassium nitrate topically as aqueous solution or an adhesive gel. The dentist can also use adhesives which contain bonding agent, restorative materials or sealant to fill cavities or isolate the sensitive teeth.
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