Some Useful Tips for Those With Sensitive Teeth

Tooth sensitivity is common problem that causes discomfort or pain to one or more teeth or associated areas that are triggered by hot or cold food or even by breathing cold air.

There are two types of tooth sensitivity:

  • Dentinal sensitivity
  • Pulpal sensitivity
Dentinal sensitivity occurs when the dentin of a tooth is exposed. Normally, the dentin is covered by enamel above the gumline and by cementum below the gumline. Dentin contains tiny openings called tubules which contains nerves. When the dentin is exposed, cold or hot temperature or pressure can affect these nerve branches. Some causes of dentin exposure include:
  • Brushing your teeth too hard. This can wear away the enamel layer also called tooth abrasion.
  • Poor oral hygiene. This may allow tartar to build up at the gum line.
  • Long-term tooth wear
  • Untreated cavities
  • An old filling with a crack or leak
  • Receding gums that expose the tooth's roots. Receding gums often are caused by periodontal diseases or by brushing too hard also called as gum recesion.
  • Gum surgery that exposes a tooth's roots
  • Tooth whitening in people who have tooth roots that already are exposed
  • Frequently eating acidic foods or drinking acidic liquids also called tooth erosion
Pulpal sensitivity is a reaction of the tooth's pulp. The pulp is a mass of blood vessels and nerves in the center of each tooth. Pulpal sensitivity tends to affect only a single tooth. Some causes of the pulpal sensitivity include:
  • Decay or infection
  • A recent filling
  • Excessive pressure from clenching or grinding
  • A cracked or broken tooth
How to prevent sensitive teeth?
  • A sensitivity toothpaste, is the simplest way to fight a tooth sensitivity problem. Sensitivity toothpastes contain special ingredients as strontium or potassium which are de-sensitising agents. Strontium chloride works by blocking the dentin microtubules that enable cold and heat sensations to reach the tooth's nerve. Potassium citrate and Potassium nitrate work in a different way by blocking the mechanism of pain transmission between nerve cells.
  • Fluoride varnishes may be applied on sensitive teeth by your dentist in more severe cases of teeth sensitivity. 
  • Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Use small circular movements with a soft-to medium-bristled brush. Try to avoid brushing your teeth from side to side.
  • Change your toothbrush every two to three months or sooner if it becomes worn.
  • If you grind your teeth, talk to your dentist about the possibility of having a mouthguard made to wear at night.
  • Regular visit to Dentist will avoid dental sentivity problem atleast once in a year.

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