When you drink ice cold water, do you cringe from a painful tooth sensation? Dental Sensitivity is a common problem for many people. It is not a cavity or a disease; it is a condition that develops as we age. Common causes of dental sensitivity: receding gums, vigorous tooth brushing, abrasive toothpastes, or grinding your teeth.
Dental Sensitivity is a term to describe when the dentin of a tooth is exposed. Your teeth have layers: the enamel which is the outermost and most strong, and the dentin which contains thousands of channels that have nerves. When these nerves are exposed to triggers such as hot/cold beverages, cold air, or sugary foods- they may shoot a sharp, short pain.
How does the dentin become exposed? Brushing too hard or using a hard bristle toothbrush are the suremost way to expose dentin. Also, using an abrasive toothpaste (i.e. whitening toothpaste) also wears down the enamel. Continuous grinding of your teeth may cause fractures in the tooth structure which allows triggers to reach the dentin.
Solutions to Dental Sensitivity:
Brush your teeth gently with little pressure using a soft/ultrasoft toothbrush.
Use Sensodyne toothpaste daily. Sensydone contains two ingredients that anesthetize the nerves in the dentin: potassium nitrate and stannous fluoride. These two ingredients prevent the nerve from sending pain signals and build a repairing layer over vulnerable areas of teeth.
If you grind your teeth, see your dentist about a night guard to prevent future wear.
Good oral hygiene to prevent periodontal disease which could recess the gums and expose the roots of teeth.
See your dentist regularly for good tips and recommendations on oral hygiene.