1) What is tooth sensitivity?
Also known as dentinal hypersensitivity or root sensitivity, tooth sensitivity is a very common problem. It is usually caused when the root area of the tooth gets exposed due to the problem of receding gums or periodontitis. In such cases, whenever someone eats something too hot or too cold, he’d feel a sudden painful sensation in the affected tooth/teeth area.
2) What triggers tooth sensitivity?
It occurs when the dentin of the tooth gets exposed due to dental problems like receding gums, periodontitis. When the root or the dentin of the tooth gets exposed, it is left without the protective layer of enamel like the crowns of the teeth. What it is left with is a rather sensitive layer of covering called the cementum which once lost causes your teeth to become sensitive. Rigorous brushing of teeth or excessive consumption of acidic food items like sweetened colas and fruit juices, grinding or clenching of teeth and orthodontic treatments are few other reasons that can trigger tooth sensitivity among individuals.
3) What can be done to minimize tooth sensitivity?
If the sensation in the teeth has become painful and bearable over a period of time, you must visit your dentist. A dentist will not only suggest you the best treatment for the same but also ways in which you can further control it. He can suggest you quality toothpastes that are specially formulated for the treatment of sensitive teeth and various other oral aids like fluoride based mouthwash and gel and the kind of toothbrush to use that you can make use of to get rid of the problem.
4) How can I prevent sensitive teeth?
You can reduces the chances of getting sensitive teeth by maintain a proper dental care regime. Having a regular oral hygiene wherein you brush and floss at regular intervals will aid in keeping diseases and problems like receding gums, cavities, periodontitis and gingivitis among others under check; which, going forward, may become the reason for giving you sensitive teeth. Using a fluoride based tooth paste is another way of preventing tooth sensitive. Eating a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables and cutting down on excessive consumption of acid causing foods like colas and sweetened juices is also recommended to have sensitivity free teeth.
5) Is tooth sensitivity a common dental problem?
Yes it is. In fact a majority of people deal with it on a daily basis. But there are several ways and methods using which you can easily reverse the problem and get back to living a normal life. There are specially formulated toothpastes for sensitive teeth that are easily available in the market that effectively aids in alleviating the problem. If nothing helps, visiting your dentist is always recommended as he can suggest you treatments and dietary changes that will help you restore the health of your teeth.
6) Is tooth sensitivity a sign of a more serious dental problem?
If you wince once in a while when eating ice cream or something hot like soup, there is nothing to worry about. However if the problem is a constant one and leaves you with a painful sensation in more than one tooth then it could be a sign for something more serious like gingivitis, periodontitis or gum disease, tooth abscess or receding gums. A visit to your dentist will help you analyse the cause of the problem and provide you with effective solutions on how to treat the problem and stop your teeth from further decay or problems.
7) Can brushing too hard cause sensitive teeth?
Regular brushing is good for the health of your teeth and gums but overdoing it in a harsh and rigorous manner can cause damage to them in the form of tooth abrasion or tooth sensitivity. Vigorous brushing causes the wear and tear of the enamel of the teeth, exposing the sensitive root area of the teeth to damage and painful sensations. It is therefore always recommended to gently brush the teeth with a soft-bristled tooth brush and not overdo the act in the hope to make your teeth sparkly white.
8) Can tooth whitening cause sensitivity?
Tooth have two kinds of layers on them. The hard or the outer layer is known as the enamel and soft or the inner layer is called the dentin. Any wear and tear of the outer layer of the tooth exposes the dentin or root of the tooth to tooth sensitivity. Teeth whitening temporarily makes the enamel more permeable exposing the dentin. Teeth whitening puts pressure on the teeth and if not done properly can cause irritation in the gum area leaving it inflamed and swollen. The pressure put on the tooth during the process can make it sore. But with proper care this problem is reversible and preventable.