Teeth Sensitivity: Causes And Remedies
Dentin Hypersensitivity or sensitivity in teeth is a sharp pain that is often short in duration and is triggered by a touch of hot, cold, sweet or sour. It arises from exposed dentin surfaces. The most common trigger is cold, but, there may be other stimuli as well such as thermal, electrical, mechanical, osmotic or chemical.
There may be various causes of dentin hypersensitivity. The main cause is, however, exposure of root surfaces, loss of cementum layer and tooth wear. The soft layer or dentin makes up the inner part and roots and have thousands of tiny tubes that lead to the tooth’s nervous system. These channels, when come in contact with the external stimuli, you feel a sharp pain as the trigger reaches the nerve of your tooth. Other reasons may include the following:
1) Brushing your teeth too hard for a long time may result to sensitivity as grinding your teeth can wear down the enamel and result in exposure of the dentin.
2) Gum disease or gingivitis is also another reason where inflamed and sore gums pull back exposing the roots of your teeth.
3) Tooth whitening products may be a vital reason for teeth sensitivity.
4) Foods and drinks with high acid content like citrus fruits, tomatoes, pickles, tea, etc. can wear down the enamel of your teeth.
5) Dental works such as teeth cleaning, crown placement, root planning and tooth restoration can make your teeth sensitive.
6) Grinding or clenching your teeth often wears down the enamel of your teeth.
7) If a teeth is chipped or broken it may fill with bacteria which enters the pulp causing inflammation.
8) Poor oral hygiene may allow tartar to accumulate in the gum line.
9) Cavities when left untreated.
There are several ways to control and prevent sensitivity.
* Brush your teeth twice daily and floss regularly. Use proper brushing technique and a soft bristled toothbrush to clean all the parts of your mouth properly.
* There are many toothpastes available in the market which are specially formulated for sensitive teeth. Regular use of such toothpastes make teeth less sensitive. Use a fluoridated toothpaste instead of a tartar control one. Spread a thin layer of it on the exposed tooth roots when you go to bed. Try a few products to see which one suits your needs best.
* Avoid acidic foods and drinks like citrus fruits, carbonated drinks, wine and yogurt. Use a straw if you drink an acidic fluid to limit its contact with your teeth.
* Use a mouth guard to prevent from grinding your teeth at night.
If your sensitivity stays more than a few weeks, consult your dentist. Your dentist will clean the teeth using proper chemicals and apply a fluoride varnish that reduces sensitivity temporarily. Then the in-office treatment is applied, which closes the openings in dentin and reduces sensitivity. A laser treatment is also available nowadays, which alters the tubules and reduces sensitivity.
Ask your dentist to prescribe acid-free fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses to give you long term, as well as instant relief. Make sure to consult your dentist once in a while so that the problem does not turn back.