Do You Have Sensitive Teeth & How to Treat It?

Do You Have Sensitive Teeth & How to Treat It?

Is the taste of chocolate or a sip of cold water sometimes a painful experience for you? Does blushing or flossing make you wince occasionally? If so, you may have sensitive teeth.

What is teeth sensitivity?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), in healthy teeth, the crowns (the part above the gun line) is protected a layer of enamel. The tooth root is protected by cementum, a layer under the gum line. Underneath the enamel and the cementum is dentin, which is less dense than enamel and cementum. Dentin contains microscopic hollow tubes or canals called dentin tubules. Dentin will expose when gums recede or the protective covering is lost. Under this condition, dentin tubules will allow heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods to reach the nerves and cells inside the tooth. Teeth sensitivity usually occurs.

What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

Possible factors include:
  • Brushing too hare: Using a hard-bristled toothbrush or brushing too hard can wear down enamel and can also cause gum recession.
  • Gum recession: Gum recession leaves root surface exposed. Some people are prone to have thin gum tissue genetically. Other people develop gum recession because of periodontal disease.
  • Teeth grinding: Grinding teeth at night may wear down the enamel and expose dentin.
  • Acid foods: Highly acidic foods and beverages can gradually dissolve enamel and lead to dentin exposure.
  • Cracked teeth: Broken or chipped teeth may expose the dentin of teeth.
  • Recent dental procedures: Teeth sensitivity will occur after fillings, teeth cleanings and dental restoration placement, but temporary.

How to Treat sensitive teeth?

The type of treatment will depend on the cause of sensitivity. Some suggestion to reduce the risk of teeth sensitivity:
  • Use a toothbrush with soft bristles: Be careful not to brush your teeth too hard, and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to help reduce toothbrush abrasion to the tooth surface and irritation to gums.
  • Use desensitizing toothpaste: This will help block the sensations transmitting from the tooth surface to the nerve.
  • Use fluoridated dental products: Daily use of fluoride gel can strengthen tooth enamel and reduce transmission of sensations.
  • A crown, inlay, or bonding: These may be used to correct a flaw or decay leading to sensitivity.
  • Surgical gum graft: If gum tissues have been lost from the root, this will help to cover the roots.
  • Root canal: If sensitivity is severe and persistent, the dentist may recommend a root canal ( removing the nerve entirely) to eliminate the problem.
Good oral hygiene is the key to prevent teeth sensitivity. Keep proper toothbrushing techniques to have a thorough teeth cleaning. See your dentist regularly to get routine professional cleanings and treatments.