Tooth sensitivity is caused by the degradation of the enamel exposing the dentine and pulp which are full nerve endings. The sensitivity can be a sharp pain or discomfort experienced when you eat certain foods, take hot or cold meals or when brushing your teeth. Tooth sensitivity starts off manageable at first before gradually becoming unbearable. It is estimated that 1 in every 8 persons suffers from tooth sensitivity.
Causes of teeth sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity can be caused by oral or dental health issues and everyday lifestyle habits. Oral and dental health causes include:
Cavities and tooth caries
Dental procedures such as fillings, crowning
Cracked or chipped teeth
These lifestyle habits gradually contribute to tooth sensitivity.
Regular consumption of acidic foods that cause the degradation of the enamel
Long-term use of acidic mouth wash and toothpaste
Tooth grinding and jaw clenching
Using hard bristle toothbrush which is aggressive on the enamel
Treatment and Solution for sensitive teeth
While it is possible to treat sensitive teeth, treating the cause of sensitivity makes the treatment process most effective providing a long lasting solution. Addressing tooth sensitivity without treating the root cause only provides temporary relief causing the underlying problems to persist. These are some of the treatment procedures your dentist is likely to administer.
Root Canal – This involves removal of bacteria and infection from the pulp of the teeth. It is extremely effective on teeth that are sensitive as a result of infection in the gums or the teeth.
Fluorides vanish – Fluoride encourages the hardening of the enamel protecting the inner parts of the teeth. With strengthened enamel, the dentin and pulp are protected eliminating sensitivity of the tooth.
Bonding and crown – These are used to prevent damage such as decay on the teeth. If the cause of sensitivity is due to tooth decay, successful bonding and crowning will rid the sensitivity of the tooth.
Mouth guard – Teeth grinding can cause sensitivity over time. To prevent this, your dentist is likely to recommend you sleep with a mouth guard to prevent grinding damage to your teeth.
Use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash – Acidic toothpaste and mouth wash cause the weakening of the enamel. Fluoride however strengthens the enamel protecting the inner sensitive part of your teeth. You can use desensitizing toothpaste for best results.
Dental cleansing – It is recommended you brush your teeth twice a day, once before bedtime. This prevents the buildup of plaque which encourages harmful bacteria to thrive. Regular flossing is also recommended.
Tooth sensitivity is the most common form of dental concern amongst most people. Still, most affected persons do not seek medical help unless the sensitivity becomes unbearable. There are several treatment options available based on the primary cause of the sensitivity. Besides treatment, some habits and home remedies can bring you the much needed relief. As always, prevention is better than treatment. Therefore, practice the right oral and dental care habits to protect your teeth from damage and sensitivity.