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Treating Sensitive Teeth: Causes and Solutions

04/04/2024

In the realm of dental health, sensitive teeth stand as a common complaint among adults, often leading to discomfort and an avoidance of certain foods and drinks. Understanding the causes behind this sensitivity and the solutions available is crucial in managing and alleviating the condition.

This article delves into the intricacies of sensitive teeth, providing valuable insight into why this issue arises and how it can be effectively addressed.

Sensitive teeth occur when the underlying layer of the tooth, known as dentin, becomes exposed. This exposure can happen due to various reasons:

 

Causes

Enamel Wear

The tooth’s protective outer layer, enamel, can wear down from acidic foods and drinks, overzealous brushing, or general wear and tear, revealing the sensitive dentin beneath.

Gum Recession

Gum disease or brushing too hard can cause the gums to recede, exposing the root surface and leading to sensitivity.

Tooth Decay

Cavities and decay can create holes in the teeth, exposing sensitive areas.

Cracked Teeth

Chips or cracks in the teeth can fill with bacteria from plaque and cause inflammation in the pulp of the tooth, leading to sensitivity.

Teeth Grinding

This habit can wear down enamel, contributing to sensitivity.

 

man wearing a brown jumper, holding his hand on his jaw due to sensitive teeth pain

 

Solutions

Addressing tooth sensitivity begins with identifying the underlying cause. Here are some solutions that may be recommended:

Desensitising Toothpaste

These toothpastes contain compounds that help block transmission of sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve. Regular use can significantly reduce sensitivity.

Fluoride Gel

Applied in a dental office or at home, fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and reduces the transmission of sensations.

A Soft-Bristled Toothbrush

Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoiding harsh brushing techniques can prevent further gum recession and enamel wear.

Dental Procedures

In cases where sensitivity is due to a dental issue like a cavity or gum disease, appropriate dental treatments such as fillings, crowns, inlays, or gum grafts may be necessary.

Mouth Guards for Bruxism

If grinding your teeth is the cause, wearing a mouth guard at night can help protect your teeth.

 

Prevention

Prevention is always preferable to treatment. Here are a few tips to help prevent sensitivity:

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

Regular brushing and flossing to promote dental hygiene works to keep the gums healthy and prevent conditions that contribute to sensitivity.

Avoid Acidic Foods and Drinks

Acidic substances can erode tooth enamel. When consuming them, do so in moderation and rinse your mouth with water afterwards.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Regular check-ups allow for early detection and treatment of conditions that could lead to sensitivity.

 

Sensitive teeth can significantly impact your quality of life, but with the right knowledge and care, it’s a condition that can be managed effectively.

Understanding the causes and exploring the solutions available are the first steps towards alleviating discomfort and enjoying a healthier smile.

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