What is tooth sensitivity? Do you ever suffer pain or discomfort when eating hot soup or ice cream? If this describes you, you are not alone. While discomfort from hot or cold foods may suggest the development of a cavity, it is also common in those who have sensitive teeth.
Dentin hypersensitivity, also known as tooth sensitivity, is exactly what it sounds like: pain or discomfort in the teeth as a reaction to certain stimuli, such as hot or cold temperatures.
It might be a short-term or long-term problem, and tooth sénitivity could affect one tooth, a few teeth, or all of the teeth in one individual. Despite the fact that there are various possible causes, the majority of sensitive tooth conditions may be properly treated by changing your dental care practice.
Symptoms of tooth sensitivity
People with sensitive teeth may experience pain or discomfort when specific factors are present. You may have ache from the impacted teeth’s roots. The following are the most common triggers:
- Hot and cold foods and beverages
- Sugary and acidic foods and beverages
- Cold water, especially during routine dental cleanings
- Brushing or flossing teeth
- Alcohol-based mouthwash
Your symptoms may change over time for no apparent reason. They might be mild or severe.
Causes of tooth sensitivity
Because their enamel is thinner, some people’s teeth are inherently more sensitive than others. The enamel is the tooth’s outermost layer of protection. Tooth enamel can regularly deteriorate as a result of:
- Brushing your teeth too vigorously
- Using an unsuitable toothbrush
- Grinding or clenching your teeth
- Regularly eating or drinking acidic foods and beverages
Other conditions can also cause tooth sensitivity. For example, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause the stomach and esophagus to produce acid, which can destroy teeth over time. Acid can destroy enamel in disorders that cause vomiting often, including gastroparesis and bulimia.
Sensitivity can also result from gum recession, which can expose and unprotect certain tooth areas.
Sensitivity can occur when the dentin of a tooth is exposed as a consequence of dental decay, fractured, chipped, or worn-down fillings, or crowns. Throughout this case, you are unlikely to have sensitivity in the majority of your teeth, but rather in a single tooth or area of your mouth.
Your teeth may become momentarily sensitive after undergoing fillings, crowns, or teeth whitening. The damaged tooth or teeth will only suffer sensitivity as a result of dental treatment in this case. This should stop after a few days.
If this is the first time you’ve encountered tooth sensitivity, make an appointment with your dentist. They can inspect your teeth for any concerns that may be causing the sensitivity, such as cavities, loose fillings, or receding gums.
Your dentist can do this as part of your routine dental cleaning. They will examine your teeth visually and clean them. They may use dental equipment to touch your teeth to check for sensitivity in addition to scheduling an X-ray to rule out probable causes such as cavities.
In-office Treatment Procedure
You can try over-the-counter dental remedies if your tooth sensitivity is mild.
Choose toothpaste that says “particularly developed for sensitive teeth” on the label. These toothpastes will not include any irritants, and they may even have desensitizing chemicals that assist prevent discomfort from reaching the nerve of the tooth.
If you have sensitive teeth, use an alcohol-free mouthwash. It will not bother your teeth as much.
Softer toothbrushes and gentler brushing routines are also good. Soft toothbrushes will be labeled accordingly.
It usually takes numerous applications for these therapies to be successful. You should see progress within a week.
If home treatments fail, consult your dentist about prescription toothpaste and mouthwash. They might also use fluoride gel or prescription-strength desensitizing medications in-office. These can help to strengthen the enamel and protect your teeth.
At-home Treatment Procedure
Different therapies are done depending on the reason. As soon as you notice any remaining dental sensitivity or discomfort, make an appointment with your dentist. Before they can provide the best treatment approach, they must rule out any significant issues.
- Use desensitizing toothpaste: Many toothpaste brands are available for sensitive teeth. Regular use should result in a reduction of sensitivity. You may need to try a few different brands to discover the one that works best for you. Another recommendation is to apply a small layer of toothpaste to the exposed tooth roots using a Q-tip or your finger before going to bed. Only use fluoridated toothpaste.
- Maintain good oral hygiene: Continue using the right brushing and flossing techniques to completely clean your mouth and teeth.
- As a result, toothbrush abrasion will cause less damage to the tooth surface, and your gums will be less irritated.
- Watch what you eat: Frequent consumption of acidic meals can erode tooth enamel and reveal dentin. They may also increase sensitivity and cause a pain response.
- Use fluoridated dental products: Use of a fluoridated mouthwash on a regular basis can lessen sensitivity. Inquire with your dentist about any products you can use at home.
- Avoid teeth grinding: If you grind or clench your teeth, use a mouthguard at night.
Consult your dentist if you experience any discomfort in any way. Dental treatments like the use of:
- Dental bonding to cover exposed root surfaces.
- Fluoride varnishes applied to the exposed root surface.
- Dentin sealers applied to the exposed root surface.
Can treating medical conditions cause tooth sensitivity?
If underlying issues are causing your tooth sensitivity, you should treat them as soon as possible before they erode the enamel and destroy your teeth.
Acid reducers can be used to treat GERD, and bulimia therapy should be supervised by a psychiatrist.
You may treat receding gums by brushing more gently and exercising excellent oral hygiene. If you are suffering severe sensitivity and discomfort as a result of substantial gum recession, your dentist may recommend a gum graft. During this operation, tissue from the palate is put over the root to preserve the tooth.
You may educate yourself to quit clenching or grinding your teeth by making a deliberate effort not to do so during the day. Caffeine and stress reduction before bedtime can also aid in the prevention of overnight teeth grinding. If it doesn’t stop the grinding, you can protect your teeth by wearing a mouthguard at night.
Can tooth sensitivity go away?
Making a deliberate effort not to clench or grind your teeth during the day might help you learn to quit. Avoiding stress and caffeine before going to bed may also help you stop grinding your teeth at night. If it doesn’t stop the grinding, use a mouthguard at night to protect your teeth.
When should I be worried about tooth sensitivity?
If the pain or sensitivity becomes so severe that it interferes with the patient’s ability to go about their daily activities regularly, it’s essential to see the dentist as soon as possible. For a variety of reasons, it is necessary to see a dentist if your teeth are very sensitive.
Can stress cause tooth sensitivity?
While it is not always a direct cause and effect, stress can have a substantial impact on dental sensitivity in a variety of ways, including grinding and clenching, dietary changes, and preventative maintenance.
Can tooth sensitivity nerve heal itself?
When the symptoms are minor and the tooth root is visible, the dentist may propose a dental filling. When the symptoms are severe, root canal treatment is required. In any scenario, you should seek emergency dental care as soon as possible.
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