Are you afraid of cold drinks or your favorite hot soup? If yes, then you’re not alone. Pain or sensitivity which is caused by hot or cold foods could be one of the signs of decay. Consumption of acidic foods and carcinogenic food can lead to such conditions. The pain or sensitivity in the teeth is a response to certain stimuli of hot or cold temperatures.
What Is Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is commonly known as dentin hypersensitivity or root sensitivity. If sweet or very acidic foods, hot or cold, and drinks, or taking in cold air, makes your body shiver or your tooth painful then it shows that you have sensitive teeth.
What Are The Symptoms Of Sensitive Teeth?
Most of the times People with sensitive teeth may have pain or uneasiness as a response to certain stimuli. You may feel this pain at any surface of tooth it can be at the roots of the affected teeth too. The most common symptoms include:
1. Sensation while taking hot foods or cold foods and beverages
2. Sensitivity while inhaling cold air
3. Pain or sensitivity while eating sweet foods
4. Acidic foods and beverages
5. Sensitivity especially during routine dental cleanings
6. Discomfort while brushing or flossing teeth
Your symptoms may come and go overtime for no obvious reason. They may range from mild to intense.
Why Sensitivity Occurs?
Dentinal sensitivity can occur to anyone Some people can have more sensitive teeth than others because of having thinner enamel. The outermost layer of the tooth which is called enamel protects the teeth and prevents sensitivity but in some cases, the tooth’s enamel can be worn down causing dentinal sensitivity. There are multiple factors which can lead to sensitivity such as
1. Rigorous brushing
2. Carious teeth
3. Brushing with hard toothpaste
4. Clenching your teeth at night
5. Frequent intake of acidic foods and drinks
6. Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) that can wear down the enamel
7. Gum recession
8. Excessive teeth whitening
What Are The Treatment Options?
If your tooth sensitivity is not severe, you can try over-the-counter toothpaste. Sometimes Choosing a fluoridated toothpaste that is made specifically for sensitive teeth can help. These toothpastes contain desensitizing ingredients that help block the stimuli to the nerve of the tooth. Use of softer toothbrushes and proper brushing more gently can also help.
There are multiple treatment options that a dental professional advises when it comes to sensitive teeth such as application of fluoride gel or desensitizing agents in-clinic. These can strengthen the enamel and your overall oral health.
Occasionally, exposed root surfaces can cause tooth sensitivity which can be treated by applying resin bond to the affected root surfaces.
In case of recession where the root surface loses gum tissue, your dentist will do a tissue graft via the process of Surgical gum graft. This process will protect the exposed roots and decrease sensitivity.
When sensitive teeth cause pain and other procedures aren’t effective, you might be advised a root canal procedure in which the dental pulp is removed and the canals are filled with filling material.
Some Tips To Prevent Teeth Sensitivity
Some home remedies can for the time being relieve discomfort from sensitivity but instead of looking for treatments we should focus on how can we prevent it and more damage to your teeth.
Prevention techniques include:
1. Maintenance of good oral hygiene to keep the mouth clean
2. Avoid abrasions by toothbrushes
3. Decrease intake of acidic foods to prevent demineralisation of tooth enamel
4. Regular dental visits
5. To prevent clenching use mouth guard
Tooth sensitivity can sometimes make it difficult to eat and drink, so do not hesitate and talk to your dentist about how you can get the best solution for it. You should get your teeth checked every 6 months by your dentist for decays or potential root damage to receive timely treatment and prevent complications.