Tooth sensitivity occurs when the dentin, the second layer of the tooth, becomes exposed. The dentin has microscopic channels called tubules, which are pathways to the nerve. When these tubules are exposed, nerves are more easily triggered by certain stimuli causing tooth sensitivity.
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What can you do to reduce your sensitivity?
- Avoid very hot or cold drinks and food.
- Avoid acidic food and drinks.
- Use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
- Avoid whitening toothpastes as they can be abrasive.
- Brush your teeth gently and use a soft bristled toothbrush.
- Brush and floss your teeth regularly to avoid gum disease and gum recession.
- Visit your dentist for an examination as there may be a reason for the sensitivity such as gum recession, eroded enamel, fractured tooth or gum disease.
What are the treatments for tooth sensitivity?
- Dentists may apply a de-sensitising agent on the sensitive teeth which may help reduce the sensitivity.
- If you suffer from gum recession or tooth abrasion, then you can have the exposed areas covered with tooth-coloured fillings to protect the teeth and eliminate the sensitivity.
- In cases of severe gum recession, gum graft surgery can be performed by a gum specialist to cover the exposed roots but this is usually done in severe cases.
- If you grind your teeth then your dentist can customize a night guard for you to wear during your sleep.
- If you have a fractured tooth then your dentist can repair the fracture and hence eliminate the sensitivity.
There are many different causes of sensitive teeth. It’s always best to consult your dentist to address your needs.