Author: Dr Saurabh Sinha (Periodontist & Implantologist, Global Dentals)
Tooth sensitivity is a common problem amongst dental patients. A sensitive tooth is hurtful and simple activities like, brushing, flossing, eating and drinking induces a sharp pain. It is caused due to erosion of tooth enamel and exposed tooth roots.
Enamel is a layer of tooth, that protects the crowns of your teeth and the part above gum line. Under the gum line a layer called cementum protects the tooth root and beneath both the enamel and the cementum are dentin. Dentin is less dense than enamel and cementum and contains microscopic tubules. When dentin loses its protective covering of enamel or cementum these tubules allow heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods to reach the nerves and cells inside the tooth. The result can be hypersensitivity.
i) Brutally brushing teeth.
Tooth sensitivity arrives with brutally brushing teeth with too much force or using a stiff bristled toothbrush. This wears down the protective layers of teeth with time exposes microscopic dentin that leads to nerve exposure and a sensitive tooth. When dentin is exposed to extreme temperatures or acidic and sticky foods, it results in tooth sensitivity and discomfort. The simplest solution is to switch to a toothbrush with softer bristles and to be gentler when brushing.
ii) Acidic Food
Due to the intake acidic food such as tomato ketchup, lemon, grapefruit, kiwi or pickles can cause pain in your teeth over your exposed nerve endings. Avoiding such food can help you to avoid the discomfort of tooth sensitivity.
iii) Grinding your teeth
Tooth enamel is the strongest substance in your body, however grinding your teeth (intentionally or unintentionally) will wear down the enamel layer. You will expose the dentin, or the middle layer of the tooth, which contains nerve endings. You can refer to a dentist about finding a custom-made mouth guard to fit your bite.
iv) Tooth-whitening toothpaste.
Many toothpastes are produced with added tooth-whitening chemicals to their toothpaste formulas, some people are extremely sensitive to them than others. If your toothpaste contains tooth whitening agent and you’re getting tooth sensitivity, then you must consider changing your toothpaste.
v) Too Much Mouthwash
Over the counter mouth washes and rinses consist of alcohol and other chemicals which can make your teeth loose enamel and expose the nerve endings which will cause sensitivity. Instead, try neutral fluoride rinses or simply skip the rinse and be more diligent about flossing and brushing.
vi) Receding gums
Receding gums is a common ailment which increases with aging and can lead to tooth sensitivity. Gum diseases or gingivitis can be another reason for receding gums. Refer to a dentist to avoid tooth sensitivity due to receding gums, a line of treatment can help reduce this problem.
vii) Excessive plaque.
Plaque formed on your teeth after eating can be removed by brushing & flossing the teeth.
Tooth enamel can erode due to excessive formation of plaque, this will lead to exposure of dentin which consists of nerve endings and cause tooth sensitivity. Practicing a good daily dental care and seeing a dentist regularly for removal of excessive plaque is an effective solution to this problem.
viii) History of a dental procedure.
Tooth sensitivity is a common experience after various dental procedures like, root canal, tooth extraction or placement of crown. The symptoms usually disappear in a week, you must consult your dentist if they continue to hurt you.
ix) Damaged or cracked teeth.
It can be extremely painful, if your tooth is cracked or chipped which can cause sensitivity.
Refer to your dentist who will evaluate the problem and will suggest a proper line of treatment.
x) Tooth Decay
Ageing can lead to removal of old fillings or decay of tooth around edges. It gets a breeding place for bacteria in this tiny cervix, which causes enamel break down. If you notice this kind of sensitivity, it can be treated by your dentist.
If your sensitivity is extreme and persists no matter what steps you take, be sure to see your dentist for an evaluation. We at Global Dentals under the guidance of our specialist teem of Dentists can guide you with proper dental checkup, solutions to your oral problems & hygiene and lead you to a good oral health. Feel free to post all your queries regarding your oral problems on our website and other social media handles