Discomfort or pain in one or more teeth as a result of hot, cold, sweet or sour substances is categorized as tooth sensitivity. The sensation can range from minor discomfort to sharp pain that extends deep into the tooth nerve.
Tooth sensitivity is occurs when the inner layer of a tooth, called dentin, is exposed when the gum tissue has receded. With the gum recession, the tooth’s roots are exposed, thus transferring the sensation to the tooth’s nerve center (pulp) which results in the discomfort or pain.
Tooth Sensitivity Causes
The underlying cause of tooth sensitivity is gum recession. This can be due to excessive brushing or brushing with a hard-bristled brush, tooth decay near the gum line, periodontal disease, gingivitis( inflamed and sore gum tissue due to loss of ligaments), cracked teeth, teeth grinding, use of tooth whitening products, plaque build-up, recent dental procedures, some mouthwashes, or acidic foods.
Tooth Sensitivity Prevention and Treatments
Tooth sensitivity can be reduced over time by performing the following:
- Maintain good oral hygiene – proper brushing, flossing and teeth cleaning
- Use a soft toothbrush
- Use desensitizing toothpaste
- Reduce the amount of acidic foods – Acidic foods dissolve tooth enamel that leads to dentin exposure
- Avoid teeth grinding – Use a dental mouth guard if necessary
- See your dentist at regular intervals – Get professional cleaning and fluoride treatments if necessary at regular intervals