Sensitivity can be very distressing and may result in patients avoiding certain foods. Sensitivity is also known as dentine hypersensitivity and can give episodes of short, sharp pain. Tooth sensitivity can come and go over time. Sensitivity is caused by the underlying dentine being exposed. In normal circumstances dentine is protected by the enamel but the enamel wears down over time quicker for some than others and this may be due to their diet. When the dentine is exposed to hot and cold stimuli this can cause sharp pains. The dentine contains a large number of pores or tubules that run from the outside of the tooth to the nerve in the centre. When the dentine is exposed, these tubules can be stimulated by changes in temperature or certain foods.
What causes the dentine to be exposed?
- Gum recession due to age or improper tooth brushing or Acidic drinks that cause enamel erosion and dentine exposure
- Tooth grinding – this may actually cause most or all of the teeth to feel sensitive
- Brushing incorrectly and/or brushing more than three times a day could result in a loss of enamel
- Gum disease, which can result in gum recession oA chipped or fractured tooth may expose the dentine
What to do when you experience sensitivity
The first step in doing something about dental sensitivity is to find out what the cause is – your experienced dentist at The Dental Studio in Colchester Essex can help you with this. If the sensitivity is due to exposed dentine, there are a number of steps you can take, as can your experienced dentist at the Dental Studio, to help reduce the sensitivity. These can include:
- Using a very soft bristle tooth brush
- Brushing correctly to help prevent abrasion of the enamel and recession of the gums
- Using toothpaste specially formulated to help reduce sensitivity There are a large number of toothpastes available on the market so just make sure that the toothpaste contains fluoride and the packaging states that it is specially formulated to help with sensitive teeth. If you are unsure ring the practice or speak to your oral health professional.