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Tooth Sensitivity: A Brief Overview of Dentinal Hypersensitivity

Does drinking tea or coffee or even water cause sharp shooting pain in your teeth? Is eating ice cream a dreadful experience? If so, it is highly likely that you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, or as it's known in the dental field dentinal hypersensitivity. Being one of the most common dental ailments affecting young and old people alike, tooth sensitivity affects one out of eight adults. Here at Whitestar dental clinic, we have the answers to all your tooth sensitivity-related problems.

What makes a tooth sensitive?

The most common cause of tooth sensitivity is the recession of gums, or what people know as “gum pulling away from the tooth”. This is brought about by improper brushing techniques, the use of a hard brush toothbrush etc. Once the gum loss occurs, the lower part of the tooth known as the root or the inner layer of the tooth known as dentin becomes exposed, when this happens, the tiny tunnels responsible for transferring signals to the inner nerve of the tooth gets agitated. This nerve also known as the pulp is stimulated by hot and cold foods or liquids, leading to pain or sensitivity.

What are the causes of sensitivity?

  • Improper brushing: the use of hard bristles toothbrush or improper brushing technique can expose the dentin or inner layer of the tooth or cause loss of gums respectively, leading to sensitivity
  • Teeth grinding: Occurring in both adults and children, this can lead to cracks on the protective surface of the tooth known as the enamel. We have the Best dentist for kids in Paschim vihar to solve all your problems
  • Cavities: When one has cavities, one can experience a lot of sensitivity due to the decay of the enamel
  • Gum disease: is a very common reason for tooth sensitivity. As the lack of oral hygiene leads to the deposition of plaque and hard tartar, the presence of millions of bacteria in the same causes bone destruction.
  • Cracked or fractured teeth: Any major crack in the enamel and the root can cause excruciating pain or sensitivity, as it exposes the nerve of the tooth to stimuli.
  • Several types of toothpaste and whitening products

People often use whitening toothpaste and products to achieve a white smile. These toothpaste and tooth whitening products typically include bleaching agents with a peroxide base. which leads to sensitivity to use. Once they cease utilising these products, however, most report feeling no discomfort.

How to prevent tooth sensitivity:

  • Avoiding overly sugary. Sticky foods and drinks: Not only do these cause cavities, sweet food and fizzy drinks create an acidic environment in the oral cavity, which erodes away the enamel leading to the dissolution of the protective layer.
  • Learning the right way to brush: Brushing technique is of utmost importance, as, rigorous brushing can lead to erosion of the protective outer covering of the tooth, also known as enamel
  • Visiting your dentist every six months or so for a regular check-up: When visiting a dentist for a check-up, a dentist can catch the presence of cavities or decay in the early stages, which helps prevent excessive damage by bacteria in the oral cavity
  • Using the right type of toothbrush: The use of a soft-bristled toothbrush is important as it decreases the chance of damage to the enamel.
  • Regular brushing and flossing to prevent decay

Solutions to tooth sensitivity

  • Fillings of decayed teeth can help remove the decayed part that exposes the sensitive dentin and, protect the same by sealing the dentin under a layer of the filling material.
  • Switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush instead of a hard one leads to less wear of the enamel.
  • Finding a cause of teeth grinding. Most commonly, teeth grinding is a response to stress or anxiety. Managing the same can be done by use of night guards that help protect the opposing teeth from direct forces from the opposing upper or lower teeth
  • Use of desensitizing toothpaste that helps protect the dentin by blocking the tiny tubules in the same
  • Fluoride varnish application in the exposed area to strengthen the enamel and dentin.
  • Use of a desensitizing agent in the dental clinic to help with the same

Although there are several solutions to the several causes of sensitivity, We at Whitestar dental clinic believe that it is necessary to focus on your oral health as well as your general being

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