What is Tooth Sensitivity?
Enamel & Dentin forms the top part of tooth which is known as Crown of tooth and when these layers (mainly Dentin) gets exposed,tooth sensitivity occurs.
But there is also another reason for tooth sensitivity and that is when our Gums(Gingiva) recede or the protective layer surrounding the pulp gets reduced.Our Gums (gum tissues) acts as a protective blanket to cover the root of the tooth.As the gum recedes,the underlying tooth roots are exposed which also causes Tooth Sensitivity.So basically Enamel & Gums acts a protective layer which protects our tooth from hot/cold temperature but over time our gums may recede or Enamel & Dentin may wear down thus resulting in Tooth Sensitivity.
What causes Tooth Sensitivity?
- Grinding your teeth at night(known as Bruxism)which results in attrition of tooth or teeth.
- Using hard bristle toothbrushes instead of softer one and not changing it every 2-3 months.
- Brushing your teeth several times in a day.
- Excessive use of Teeth whitening products.
- Poor Oral Hygiene which results in Plaque or Calculus thus receding the protective covering of tooth.
- Dental Problems-Plaque,Tartar buildup,Gingivitis,Tooth Decay,Fillings etc.
- Frequent eating/drinking of acidic foods can wear down the enamel.
- Cracked teeth(tooth).
- Long term use of mouthwash.
- Tooth sensitivity also occur sometimes having your teeth cleaned(known as Scaling) but the good thing is that this type of sensitivity will disappear in about 4-5 weeks.
- Decreases saliva flow in mouth.
- Dehydration in body due to excess caffeine or alcohol intake.
What type of foods should be avoided?
- Hot Liquids like Coffee,Tea,Soup.
- Cold Items like Ice Creams.
- Soft,Aerated Drinks.
- Acidic drinks like Lemonades,Wine,Yougurt etc
- Hard foods like Snacks,Candies.
How to cope with Tooth Sensitivity?
- Maintain and follow proper oral hygiene.
- Use soft bristle toothbrushes which are gentle on the tooth and gum line.Do not scrub your teeth vigorously and reduce the amount of pressure brushing and always brush your teeth for good 3-4 minutes and not for just 45 seconds that many people do.
- Use fluoride mouth rinse to help remineralization and change your tooth brush every 2-3 months.
- Make sure you apply desensitizing toothpaste on exposed roots with your clean fingers or cotton swab before going to bed.It helps strengthen the protective layer of the teeth and minimizes sensitivity.
- Watch what you eat and drink.Avoid acidic drinks.
- Use a mouth guard to avoid tooth grinding by using a night guard and discuss with your dental surgeon that you have a problem of grinding teeth and ask for a night guard.
- Fluoride varnishes/sealants/bonding/fillings/root canal treatments also help.
- Chemical desensatization is the most common method of treatment provided by your dentist.
- Regularly visit your dentist for every 6 months and seek treatment at the earliest.
Like all health issues, tooth sensitivity is something not to be neglected.Tooth sensitivity can easily be treated
with right dental practices so that you can enjoy your favorite foods without feeling any pain.Hope you find the post helpful.