Did you just say an “ouch”? Is it the teeth again? Maybe you just took some cold beverage or hot food recently and you’re feeling pangs of pains in your gums. Maybe that’s why you’re on this page. But since you are here- it would be good for you to know how to treat tooth insensitivity. You would also need to know the causes; how you can treat it- could be some dental issue you didn’t even know was a problem? You also deserve to know when to meet your dentist for a diagnosis and a treatment plan for your tooth insensitivity.
What is Tooth Insensitivity?
Tooth Insensitivity is the wearing down of the protective layer around the teeth (the enamel). According to the American Dental Association (AMA), the enamel cover the area of teeth that is directly above the gum lines (crows). On the other hand, the roots area under your gum line is covered with another protective layer known as the cementum. But far beneath the enamel and the cementum is the dentin which is less dense than the other protective layers.
The dentin is made of tiny microscopic canals known as dentin tubule. When either the enamel or cementum (or both) break or wear away, the dentin becomes exposed. And when the gums also break down, the dentin becomes even more dangerously exposed. The tubules in the gum are open to the fluid which flow in and these tubules can be easily hit by cold or hot food and drink. This makes the nerve in the tooth to be hurt severely and be sensitive.
What are the Causes of Sensitivity?
While there are so many factors that can cause sensitivity, these are the most popular:
- Worn enamel from a tough toothbrush or brushing abrasively.
- Erosion of tooth as a result of highly acidic beverages.
- Tooth decay and leaky fillings
- Receding gums that leave your root surface dangerously open.
- Grinding your teeth in your sleep
- Post dental treatment sensitivity is popular but does not last long
How to Treat Home Sensitivity
- At The Dentist’
Usually, complex problems cause very sensitive teeth. Therefore, you need to see a dentist so the issue can be treated as it ought to be. The various in-office treatments may include inlay, bonding, or a crown, as the situation may demand. In case you have serious gum disease, you’d have to treat it too.
Your dentist’s main duty to you is to make a diagnosis and draft a treatment plan to help you on your road to recovery from sensitivity. Here are some of the treatments you’ll most likely get at a dentist’s
- Surgical Gum Graft: Your dentists might suggest a surgical gum graft if you’ve lost a lot of gum tissue. It’s a surgical process when gum tissue is taken from another part of your mouth and attached to a tooth that had lost gum tissue. This procedure is used to cover exposed roots and reduces the pain that comes with sensitivity.
- Root Canal: If your sensitive teeth are not getting any better even after treatment and you still experience chronic pain, your dentist might recommend that you do a root canal. This procedure according to the American Association of Endodontists removes the painful nerve completely.
If your tooth sensitivity is not as severe, you can always treat it at home with some simple tricks:
- Desensitizing Toothpaste: Desensitizing toothpaste can reduce the pain that comes with sensitive teeth after frequent use. There are a variety of over-the-counter products you can buy but you should ask your dentist about which product will be best for you.
- Fluoride Gel: This treatment can be recommended by your dentist to spread the fluoride over the sensitive areas of your gum to keep the enamel strong and reduce the pain that runs in the nerve. Your dentist may also offer prescription fluoride for application at home.
Prevention: The Best Treatment for Sensitivity
One thing is as real as it gets: immediately after the enamel wear, you will not be able to build a new one. Here are some things that you can do that will help you prevent sensitivity and the pains that it causes:
1.Brushing and Flossing Properly and Regularly
While it is good to brush and floss, you must also do it the right way: with not too much pressure on your teeth. Instead, use a soft-bristled toothpaste with a desensitizing toothpaste (avoid abrasive toothpaste).
2.Watch The Acidic Food and Drink You Consume
Acidic food and drinks include citrus fruits, wines, and carbonated drinks and they can wear the enamel from your tooth gradually. You can use a straw whenever you can acidic substance to reduce the contact with your teeth. Also, you should drink water after taking acids to balance the acid content in your mouth.
3.Get a Mouth Guard
If you grind your teeth, request a mouth guard from your dentist. Grinding your teeth can result in teeth fracture and can increase teeth sensitivity.