Have you ever experienced sudden pain in your teeth while having your favourite ice cream or a hot cup of tea? That’s because you have sensitive teeth, which cause daily discomfort when eating or sipping hot or cold drinks. The pain associated with dental sensitivity is often intense and quick, lasting a few seconds or minutes.
If you’re sick of aching with each bite or sip, it’s time to call in the dentist. Your dentist can help relieve tooth sensitivity and improve your overall oral health. Before getting into the treatments, it’s important to understand what causes dental sensitivity.
Understanding Tooth Sensitivity
Dentin hypersensitivity, often known as tooth sensitivity, is a disorder in which the teeth become more sensitive. Exposure to the softer layer of dentin beneath the hard outer layer of enamel causes it. Dentin comprises small tubules that lead to the pulp, the tooth’s soft centre. Nerves and blood arteries are found in the pulp. Dentin tubules are visible as enamel chips away. This permits hot, cold, sweet, or acidic meals and beverages to reach the pulp’s nerves, causing pain or discomfort.
Tooth Sensitivity Signs and Symptoms
It is also necessary to know that the severity of tooth sensitivity might vary. Some people may only feel slight sensitivity, while others may feel extreme pain. Here are some signs and symptoms of tooth sensitivity.
- Pain or discomfort in the teeth when exposed to hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and beverages
- When brushing or flossing, there is pain or discomfort.
- Air sensitivity, particularly to cold air.
- An acute, shooting ache in the teeth that subsides fast.
- Teeth pain that worsens after biting down.
Reasons for Tooth Sensitivity
Here are some of the most common reasons for tooth sensitivity
- Enamel erosion is the wearing away of the tooth’s enamel. Overbrushing, using a hard-bristled toothbrush, or consuming acidic meals and drinks are all likely to contribute to tooth sensitivity.
- Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue peels away from the teeth, exposing the tooth roots. Because tooth roots do not have enamel, they are more sensitive to stimuli.
- Cracked or chipped teeth can expose the dentin and create irritation in the teeth.
- Cavities can also cause tooth sensitivity, especially if they are deep.
- Fillings, crowns, and root canals can all cause temporary tooth sensitivity.
Is a Sensitive Tooth an Indication of Infection?
No, sensitive teeth are not necessarily indicative of an infection. Enamel erosion, gum recession, tooth decay, chipped or broken teeth, recent dental operations, sinus difficulties, and teeth grinding may all lead to tooth sensitivity. While infection can cause sensitivity, it is only one of several potential causes. If you are experiencing sensitivity, consult a dentist at Complete Smiles for an accurate diagnosis and treatment. Early diagnosis is important for preventing future difficulties.
Diagnosis of Tooth Sensitivity
To diagnose sensitive teeth, the dentist or hygienist will inquire about your symptoms, such as the triggers of sensitivity, duration, and severity. They may also ask about any other medical conditions you have and your overall oral health.
During your dental check-up, the dentist or hygienist will visually examine your teeth and gums. They will check for signs of enamel loss, gum recession, cracked or broken teeth, and other dental problems. Additionally, they may use a dental explorer to assess specific teeth for sensitivity.
If the dentist can’t find the cause of your sensitivity by looking, they might suggest doing more tests, like:
- X-rays: X-rays can detect cavities, cracks, and other issues with the teeth and gums.
- Cold air test: Your dentist will use a blast of cold air to evaluate if it causes sensitivity.
- Electric pulp test: Your dentist will use a small electric probe to measure the electrical response of the pulp nerves.
Treatment for Tooth Sensitivity
The following are some typical remedies and tactics for reducing tooth sensitivity
Use a toothpaste that is desensitising and contains ingredients like potassium nitrate or stannous fluoride. These may assist in preventing the small tubules in your teeth from transmitting feelings.
Fluoride can be applied by dentists or hygienists as a gel, foam, or rinse to help strengthen tooth enamel and lessen sensitivity.
If you have exposed root surfaces, your dentist may advise you to cover them using dental bonding. This is a straightforward technique that involves applying tooth-coloured resin to the damaged teeth.
If all other treatments have failed, the dentist may offer a root canal. This procedure removes the injured pulp from the tooth and closes it up, removing the source of the sensitivity.
Some Prevention Tips for Tooth Sensitivity
Here are some prevention tips for tooth sensitivity
- Brush your teeth twice a day for a few minutes using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
- Avoid brushing with a lot of force.
- Avoid acidic foods and beverages.
- Getting oral hygiene checked by a professional dentist
- Consult your dentist about getting a mouth guard if you grind your teeth.
We understand the causes of tooth sensitivity and can develop a personalised treatment plan to reduce your pain and prevent the problem from worsening. Our qualified dentists will work with you to understand your specific needs and develop a plan that is right for you.
Complete Smiles offers dental services that cover everything from preventing dental problems to treating specific issues. If you are concerned about tooth sensitivity, feel free to contact us today. We would be happy to schedule a consultation with one of our qualified dentists to discuss your options.
Together, we can help you achieve a pain-free smile and better dental health.