Tooth Sensitivity

Published on July 31, 2011 by

Tooth sensitivity can be addressed at Wood Family Dental. Tooth sensitivity is tooth pain that can be caused by the following sensations on your tooth or teeth, these are; excessive heat, cold, sweets or sour foods and drinks. Even breathing cold air or touching your tooth or teeth in the wrong area may produce this sensitivity. The ache felt in the tooth may be sharp and abrupt, and penetrate deep into your tooth’s nerve endings. The causes of tooth sensitivity and its treatment can both be explained to you, and treated, in our clinic.
The causes of tooth sensitivity happens when the tooth’s dentin layer is exposed due to receding gum tissues, or when the tooth is not properly covered all the way around by enamel on the crown portion of the tooth, and cementum on the root portion of the tooth. When this occurs, exposed minute dentinal tubules, which make up the dentin layer of the tooth, are exposed to the environment. These dentinal tubules communicate with the pulp of the tooth. The pulp contains nerves, a blood supply, and other tissues. When exposed, these dentinal tubules (or channels) allow the external stimulus to create a situation where the nerve cell endings are triggered, leading to pain.
There are many reasons why people have tooth sensitivity. These include, but are not limited to: using a hard bristle brush and being overzealous with your brushing, thus wearing down enamel over time; gum recession; gum disease; cracked, chipped, or decayed teeth; teeth grinding; overuse of whitening products, abrasive toothpastes, plaque accumulation (as end-products of bacteria are acidic), several over-the-counter mouthwashes that are acidic, and acidic drinks and foods. Also, individuals between the ages of 25-30 years olds are at increased risk of tooth sensitivity. Regular dental therapies may also leave your tooth or teeth sensitive, however this is usually a temporary situation.  
There are several things that you can do to reduce or eliminate tooth sensitivity. These include but are not limited to: maintaining good oral hygiene; using a soft- bristled toothbrush; using fluoride-based toothpastes for sensitive teeth (e.g., smear it on your tooth with your finger and let it penetrate for a few minutes and then brush); pay attention to what you eat and drink; try to avoid grinding your teeth, use fluoridated dental products, and visit your dentist regularly. If you cannot manage tooth sensitivity by yourself using the above methods, speak with your dentist. Your dentist may recommend the placement of tooth bonding materials, fluoride based polishes or dentin sealers.

Filed under: Prevention

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