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An Insight on Tooth Sensitivity by Monarch Smiles, a Dental Clinic in Virginia

August 4, 2014

Tooth sensitivity is one of the most commonly found tooth discomforts that trigger a pain or sensitivity when a patient consumes food or beverages that are either hot or cold. According to dental experts, hot and cold foods and beverages are not solely responsible for teeth sensitivity, but in some cases, sweet or sour foods are equally accountable for the discomfort experienced by the patients. A patient suffering from sensitive teeth experiences sharp and sudden pain that can shoot deep into the nerve ending underneath the teeth. The movement of fluid within tiny tubes located in the dentin is concluded to be the main cause for tooth sensitivity, which results in irritation.

Common Causes for Sensitive Teeth

When the underlying surface of the teeth (the dentin) becomes exposed to the external environment due to the fading gum tissues (a kind of protective blanket that covers the tooth roots), the discomfort of sensitive teeth occur. The roots, which are not protected by hard enamel, include thousands of minute tubules leading to the tooth’s nerve center (the pulp). These tiny dentinal tubules, also known as channels, permit the stimuli – for instance, the cold, hot, sour or sweet food – to reach the nerve in your tooth, which eventually causes pain.

Factors leading to Sensitive teeth include:

1.    You may be brushing too hard – Using a hard-bristled toothbrush or brushing too hard can damage enamel and gum tissue leading to exposed dentin.
2.    Rise of Gum Disease – Formation of tartar and plaque can lead to gum disease. Swollen and aching gum tissue may cause the loss of supportive ligaments, which uncovers the root surface that leads directly to the nerve of the tooth.
3.    Recession of the Gums – Due to conditions like periodontal disease or brushing too hard, gums move away from the tooth, exposing the root surface.
4.    Cracked or Damaged teeth – Cracked or damaged teeth may accumulate bacteria from plaque. Which enters the pulp, causing inflammation.
5.    Use of Tooth Whitening Products – Tooth whitening products are believed to be one of the major contributors to sensitive teeth.
6.    Teeth Grinding – Clenching or grinding your teeth may damage the enamel and expose underlying dentin.
7.    You Age – It is observed that teeth sensitivity is at the peak between ages 25 and 30.
8.    Long-term uses of Mouth Wash – If you have exposed dentin, some over-the-counter mouthwashes containing acids intensify tooth sensitivity. Furthermore, acids also damage the dentin layer. If you are experiencing this problem, then immediately visit your dentist for assistance and suitable treatment.
9.    Consumption of Acidic Foods – Frequent consumption of acidic foods containing a high acid content like tomatoes, tea, citrus fruits, and pickles can cause enamel erosion.

How to Prevent Teeth Sensitivity?

Here are some steps you can take to prevent teeth sensitivity;

1.    Preserve good oral hygiene – Follow a strict oral care routine. Brush twice a day, floss, and use mouthwash to clean all parts of your teeth and mouth.
2.    Prefer a soft bristled toothbrush – A toothbrush with soft bristles will decrease gum irritation and toothbrush abrasion of the tooth surface. Brush at a 45 degree angle using small circular motions around the gum line so that you don’t damage your gum tissues.
3.    Prefer a desensitizing toothpaste – There are hundreds of brands of toothpaste available in the market for sensitive teeth. Regular use of this toothpaste reduces tooth sensitivity.  You can also spread a thin layer of the toothpaste on the sensitive areas with your figure or a Q-tip before you go to sleep.
4.    Mind your eating habits – If possible, avoid consumption of acidic food that damages the tooth enamel and leads to dentin exposure. Medically, it has been concluded that acidic foods also aggravate the sensitivity and begin the pain reaction.
5.    Make use of fluoridated oral care products – Regular use of fluoridated oral care products can reduce sensitivity. If you are confused about which fluoridated products to use, ask your dentist for guidance.
6.    Visit a dental Clinic at Regular Intervals – Periodic visits at your dental clinic offer your dentist an opportunity to evaluate your oral health.  Ask your dentist for hygiene instructions, professional teeth cleaning, and fluoride treatments after your exam.

After following these cautionary steps, if you still experience teeth sensitivity, then talk to your dentist for appropriate treatments. There are several dental procedures to help you reduce sensitivity. To know more about teeth sensitivity, you can visit Monarch Smiles, a dental clinic in Vienna, Virginia. To schedule an online appointment for any oral care services, visit https://www.monarchsmiles.com/contact-us.html. For more useful tips and hints, you can also read dental expert’s blogs at https://www.monarchsmiles.com/blog/

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