Ever felt a sharp pain in your teeth when you drink a hot coffee or a cold drink?
If yes, then you’ve got sensitive teeth!
What exactly is sensitive teeth?
Sensitive teeth are a condition where the nerves inside the tooth become exposed and react to external stimuli, such as temperature, pressure, or acidity.
How does a teeth become sensitive?
It has got to do with four main parts of Teeth: Enamel, Cementum, Dentin and the Pulp
The tooth enamel (hard outer layer of the tooth) and the cementum (layer that covers the root) protect the dentin (the inner layer of the tooth) and the pulp (the soft tissue that contains the nerves and blood vessels).
However, when these protective outside layers wear away or recede, the dentin becomes exposed and allows the stimuli to reach the nerves, causing pain or discomfort.
What causes teeth sensitivity?
There are many factors that can contribute to tooth sensitivity, such as:
- Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush, which can erode the enamel and cause gum recession
- Gum disease or gingivitis, which can cause inflammation and infection of the gums and lead to gum recession
- Tooth decay or cavities, which can damage the enamel and dentin and create holes in the tooth
- Cracked or chipped teeth, which can expose the dentin and pulp
- Dental procedures, such as fillings, crowns, root canals, or teeth whitening, which can temporarily or permanently affect the nerve endings in the tooth
- Acidic foods and drinks, such as citrus fruits, vinegar, wine, or soda, which can erode the enamel and dentin over time
- Grinding or clenching your teeth, which can put pressure on the teeth and cause microfractures in the enamel
Solutions for sensitive teeth:
The treatment for sensitive teeth depends on the underlying cause and severity of the condition. Some possible treatments include:
- Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and brushing gently with a fluoride toothpaste, which can help strengthen the enamel and reduce sensitivity
- Using a desensitizing toothpaste or mouthwash, which can block the nerve impulses from reaching the tooth surface
- Applying fluoride gel or varnish to the affected teeth, which can help remineralize the enamel and dentin
- Avoiding acidic foods and drinks or rinsing your mouth with water after consuming them, which can help neutralize the acid and prevent erosion
- Wearing a mouthguard at night if you grind or clench your teeth, which can reduce the pressure on your teeth and prevent enamel wear
If this doesn’t solve sensitivity, it is highly recommended to get consultation from a Dentist.
At Friendly Hills Family Dentistry, after screening and evaluating your teeth sensitivity, we suggest either of these plausible solutions:
- Getting dental sealants or bonding agents applied to the exposed root surfaces, which can cover and protect the dentin
- Getting dental fillings or crowns to repair cavities or cracks in the teeth, which can restore the tooth structure and prevent further damage
- Getting root canal treatment for severely damaged or infected teeth, which can remove the inflamed or dead pulp and seal the tooth
How to prevent sensitive teeth?
The best way to prevent sensitive teeth is to maintain good oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.
Some preventive measures include:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily, which can help remove plaque and bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease
- Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and brushing gently with circular motions, which can help avoid damaging your enamel and gums
- Limiting your intake of acidic foods and drinks or using a straw when drinking them, which can help reduce their contact with your teeth
- Drinking plenty of water throughout the day, which can help wash away food particles and acid from your teeth
- Quitting smoking or chewing tobacco, which can stain your teeth and increase your risk of gum disease and oral cancer
Sensitive teeth are a common problem that can affect your quality of life. However, with proper care and treatment, you can reduce your pain and discomfort and enjoy your favourite foods and drinks again.
If you have any questions or concerns about your sensitive teeth, you can book an appointment with us for advice and solutions.