Have you ever noticed that when eating or drinking certain foods they trigger sensitivity or pain in your teeth? You might feel a slight twinge, discomfort or shooting pains. If you experience these sensations then most likely you suffer from tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity is not a disease but a common dental condition.
Sensitivity is often triggered from drinking or eating hot or cold food and beverages, eating sweets, sucking air through the teeth or even from touching teeth with our tongue. There are many reasons why teeth become sensitive and most of them have to do with the condition of our oral health. Roots being exposed from tooth enamel being worn down, chipped or cracked teeth, cavities, gum disease, receding gum lines or teeth bleaching can all contribute to sensitivity. Most adults experience occasional sensitivity but some do experience chronic pain.
What Causes Sensitivity
Teeth above the gum line are normally covered by enamel, below the gum line by cementum and when this layer is worn away the dentin of a tooth is exposed. Dentin contains tubules which are tiny channels that lead to the center of the tooth. When teeth are exposed to certain foods and temperatures these can infiltrate the tooth and irritate the tooth’s nerve which results in pain or tooth sensitivity.
If you have the condition of sensitive teeth, there are desensitizing toothpastes available to specifically reduce the discomfort and pain from tooth sensitivity.
Desensitizing toothpastes work by using ingredients that either block the tubules in the dentin and act as a shield to guard the tooth’s nerves or by numbing tooth sensitivity by calming the nerve of the tooth. It is recommended that desensitizing toothpaste is used twice a day and it may take up to two weeks of use for some users to experience relief. By repeatedly using desensitizing toothpaste this will build up a stronger barrier to the tooth’s nerves helping lesson or preventing sensitivity. Brushing your teeth before bedtime with desensitizing toothpaste is often recommended as this will help the toothpaste and active ingredients penetrate your teeth.
Even if you do find relief by using a desensitizing toothpaste it is still advised that you let your dentist know that you have sensitive teeth. If after using desensitizing toothpaste and you continue to feel tooth sensitivity, this might indicate an underlying dental problem and it is advised to see your Burnaby Dentist.
To help prevent further sensitive areas on your teeth it is recommended to follow a good oral hygiene routine. This includes brushing with a soft toothbrush in a gentle manner half an hour after eating or drinking at least twice a day, flossing daily and going for regular dental check ups. You may also want to avoid acidic beverages such as coffee, sports drinks, wine, juices and pop as they can wear down enamel.
If you have questions or concerns about teeth sensitivity, please feel free to talk to your North Burnaby Dental Group Dentist at your next visit.