What causes tooth sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity, also known as dentin hypersensitivity, happens when the protective layer of enamel on your teeth wears down, or your gums recede far enough to expose the unprotected tooth underneath, called dentin. Dentin contains little tubules which lead to the nerve centre of the tooth - which is why you’re more sensitive to hot, cold, sweet or acidic substances.
When you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, even simple activities like brushing or flossing can trigger discomfort, which is a pity, because tooth decay and cavities can also lead to holes in your enamel, which makes the problem worse.
Other things that can lead to tooth sensitivity include cracked teeth or fillings, tooth whitening products, teeth grinding and sinus infections. Figuring out what causes your particular sort of tooth sensitivity is the first step towards solving the problem, so your first port of call should be an appointment with your dentist.
What can my dentist do to help?
If you’re suffering from sensitive teeth, a visit to your nearest dentist is essential. Dentists play a crucial role in diagnosing and treating teeth sensitivity, to make sure you get the best care to alleviate your pain and improve your dental health.
Comprehensive Dental Examination
When you visit your dentist for sensitive teeth, they will conduct an examination of your mouth, checking for the extent of your tooth sensitivity and identifying any potential causes, including tooth decay, gym recession or worn enamel. Based on this examination, they’ll be able to develop a tailored treatment plan, addressing your specific needs.
Professional Teeth Cleaning
Because plaque and tartar buildup can contribute to tooth sensitivity, it might be worth speaking to your dentist about a professional tooth cleaning, where they’ll remove any plaque and tartar that’s accumulated around your teeth, preventing further damage to your enamel.
Dentists use a mineral called fluoride to strengthen your tooth enamel and reduce tooth sensitivity. Your dental team may apply fluoride gel or varnish to your teeth to provide added protection against sensitivity, or recommend a toothpaste containing fluoride that can help gradually as part of your daily routine.
If the roots of your teeth have been exposed due to gum recession, your dentist might recommend a dental sealant, which acts as a protective barrier to cover the exposed roots.
Dentists are able to apply desensitising agents including varnishes or bonding agents to any teeth that are affected. These agents are designed to block the tubules in your dentist, which can provide relief from sensitivity.
If your tooth sensitivity is caused by tooth grinding or clenching, your dentist will be able to create a custom mouthguard or splits which can help protect your teeth from further damage.
In some cases, tooth sensitivity can be exacerbated by acidic or sugary foods and beverages. Your dentist will be able to offer dietary recommendations that will minimise your exposure to sensitivity triggers, and promote dental health.
If your tooth sensitivity is a result of tooth decay or damaged implants, fillings or crowns, your dentist will be able to perform the necessary restorative procedures in order to address these issues and alleviate the sensitivity you’re experiencing.
If you’re dealing with the discomfort of sensitive teeth, don’t hesitate to seek the help of your local dentist. Dental professionals have the expertise and tools to diagnose and treat tooth sensitivity effectively, providing relief and improving your dental health. Don’t ignore sensitivity, as it can indicate underlying dental issues that require attention. By making appointments for regular dental check-ups and cleanings, you’ll be investing in your dental health and preventing tooth sensitivity from worsening over time.
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