Sensitive Teeth: Causes, Treatment & More Answered:
- Are Sensitive teeth common?
- What causes sensitivity?
- Is sensitivity the same as pain?
- Do I need a filling as I have sensitive teeth?
- Which toothpaste can I use for sensitive teeth?
- Can sensitive teeth be cured?
These are some of the common questions I get asked by patients every day. Having a tooth sensitive to cold or having many teeth in the mouth sensitive to sometimes even air is annoying and can be painful.
It is estimated that over 10% of people have some form of teeth sensitivity. Interestingly enough, many times people do not share this with other people or even their dentist.
The Science of Tooth Sensitivity:
The enamel is the outer layer of the tooth. Under it is the tooth dentin. This layer is much more sensitive. Dentin gets exposed due to many reasons which lead to sensitivity.
The nerve endings of the teeth are exposed to the surface hence generating pain and uneasiness whenever you eat anything hot or cold.
The Main Causes of Tooth Sensitivity are Listed Below:
- Using a hard toothbrush can damage your enamel. Having worn out enamel may cause tooth sensitivity. If the outer layer of the tooth or teeth is worn away, the underlying dentin is exposed and much more sensitive to cold and air.
- Acid foods and drinks also damage the enamel to a great extent. Taking too much soda, colas, and spicy foods will lead to teeth sensitivity.
- Stress can lead to nervous and involuntary habits in some individuals and one of them is grinding your teeth. Excessive grinding can lead to damaged and worn out enamel.
- Gum disease and exposed root of the tooth are also a leading cause of sensitivity.
- Fractured fillings, broken teeth, and worn-out fillings can also lead to tooth sensitivity.
- Gastrointestinal reflux disease can cause acidic reflux from the stomach. This acidic reflux back into the mouth may cause damage to the teeth. Bulimia is also one of the causes of teeth sensitivity.
Main Symptoms of Sensitive Teeth:
Generalised pain in the teeth and jaws are the main symptoms. You might feel a kind of uneasiness and electric shock when drinking hot or cold drinks.
Cures for Teeth Sensitivity:
1. Usage of Desensitising Toothpaste:
Several brands of medicated toothpaste are available in the market that prevents the sensitivity of teeth. The main ingredient in these pastes is potassium nitrate. Dentists also prescribe fluoride toothpaste.
2. Use Soft Bristle Brush:
The most important aspect of brushes is the way you use them rather than their bristles. Try to brush your teeth using the right technique.
At Carillon Dental Care we can offer appointments with our Oral Health Educator, who can advise you on the type of brush and technique. Electric brushes are better in this regard as the bristles are soft.
3. Avoid Acidic Foods:
Try not to eat too many acidic foods since it will only elevate the pain and suffering. Opt for yogurt, milk, and butter and natural fruit juices instead of beverages.
4. Dental Applications:
If you are not having a good time with the above remedies, your dentist can do a covering of varnish or resin over your teeth, which will provide an enamel shield.
Other Dental Procedures that Could be Done Include:
- Dental Bonding.
- Surgical gum graft by Specialist.
- A Root Canal is the ultimate and last treatment for extreme and continuous teeth sensitivity.
Root Canal Treatment:
During root canal therapy (RCT), the tooth nerve or pulp canal is removed and is filled in. If root canal treatment is done properly, then no more pain from cold drink or cold air should happen to that particular tooth. The patient may still have other teeth that may be causing the teeth sensitivity.
Composite bonding or tooth bonding can also be used as a treatment option for sensitivity. Since it is an adhesive, it helps to protect the underneath portion of the tooth.
With over 50 brands of different toothpaste on supermarket shelves, choosing the right toothpaste can be a difficult decision. In the article “What is the best toothpaste?“, Dr Jay Patel breaks down the different categories (including the best brand for sensitive teeth) of toothpaste that are available on the market, and which ones could benefit you most.
For more information on sensitive toothpaste, please visit the websites: