Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common complaints encountered in our every day clinical practice. Tooth Sensitivity is described as a brief sensation caused by the exposure of dentin, the layer beneath the hard-white enamel of a tooth, to external stimuli.
Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
Food Habits - Ingestion of hard acidic foods / drinks like citrus fruits, beverages, aerated drinks etc. can contribute to Tooth Sensitivity.
Brushing Habit - Improper brushing techniques, brushing your teeth aggressively in a horizontal fashion, especially with a hard-bristled toothbrush etc. can result in Tooth Sensitivity.
Tooth Decay - Plaque contains bacteria, which produce acids erode your tooth enamel, gradually leading to Tooth Sensitivity.
Use of Teeth-Whitening Therapy / Toothpaste - Sensitivity can be a temporary side effect of teeth- whitening treatment. Frequently use of improper at-home- whitening products can also cause Tooth Sensitivity.
Gum Problems - Gum Recession, a common problem in people over the age of forty, can cause sensitivity. Also, excessive flossing can damage your gums causing Sensitivity.
Cracked / Split Tooth - A Cracked Tooth can cause pain when you chew or bite on hard substance and can result in Tooth sensitivity.
Recent Dental Restorations - You may experience temporary Sensitivity after you have done dental treatment, but this would subside within four weeks.
Sinus Infection - A Sinus Infection can make your teeth hurt or sensitive when you do certain activities like jumping, brisk walking etc. This is due to the pressure and inflammation in the Sinus.
Cold Weather - When teeth come in contact with cold air, it can trigger a sensitive tingle.
Bruxism - Bruxism is grinding of the teeth during sleep, which can cause wearing of tooth enamel, resulting in Tooth sensitivity.
Chewing on Ice - If you are in the habit of chewing on ice, it can damage the nerves inside your teeth resulting in Tooth Sensitivity.
Pregnancy - It does not directly cause Tooth Sensitivity but there are hormonal changes which can affect your gums, which in turn may lead to discomfort and dental pain.
- Enamel erosion can expose the dentin and cause Tooth Sensitivity. Your dentist will identify the underlying causes of Sensitivity and recommend suitable interventions like Fluoride therapy, Gingival Graft Surgery etc.
- Your dentist may recommend a Root Canal Treatment when other procedures are not effective foe Sensitivity Teeth.
If Tooth Sensitivity is due to Tooth Decay, restoration of these teeth is the ideal choice.
Prevention Of Tooth Sensitivity
- Using fluoride toothpaste
- Brushing your teeth using a soft-bristled tooth-brush
- Using a mouthwash containing fluoride for three months
- Abstaining from talking highly acidic food and drink
- Wearing a mouth guard, if you are in the habit of grinding teeth
Talk to your dentist for more information and determine the best solution for your sensitive teeth.