Nearly 57% of the population of the world is affected by it, mostly in the age range of 20 to 40 years! Aged people of 70 years or more though, have a higher probability of having to deal with it.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
The main cause for tooth sensitivity is an erosion of the tooth enamel. It can turn into a serious problem if you do not take precautions. Hot and cold food are responsible for tooth sensitivity. Mostly, this is a common phenomenon and does not call for medical attention.
Tooth sensitivity occurs when the enamel covering weakens. Enamel covering protects teeth from the sensitivity. Once it starts eroding, sensitivity becomes prominent. Like enamel protects teeth, cementum prevents the roots below the gum line. So, enamel and cementum protect the teeth and roots.
Under these protective covering, there is another layer called dentin. It is not as thick as the outer layers. Dentin contains microscopic channels known as dentin tubules. So, when the enamel and cementum wear down, dentin is exposed. Hot and cold fluids that flow through the dentin tubules when the dentin is exposed causes sensitivity.
Factors influencing Sensitivity
When you eat too many sweet eatables or drinks, it releases acidic solutions. These acidic solutions trigger enamel and cementum loss. These eatables can be hot or cold, but they contain acid that erodes the protective covering of the teeth.
Sensitivity problem creeps in when dentin is exposed. Loss of enamel may occur due to the aggressive brushing of teeth, using artificial products for teeth whitening, fractured teeth, and tooth decay. Therefore, periodic consultation with a qualified dentist is recommended for healthy teeth and gums.
Treatment of Sensitive Teeth
Your dentist will be able to prescribe you the best solution for your sensitive teeth. He/she may suggest any of the following:
Chairside treatment is a process for preventing sensitivity. In this treatment, fluoride can be used for sealing the dentin tubules. It protects the teeth from sensitivity.
Bonding or white fillings can be applied to the exposed areas of the teeth caused due to teeth fracture.
If the enamel is too weak, consider covering it up with a crown that provides an extra layer of protection.
In the extreme cases, it is possible that persistent pain and sensitivity demands root canal treatment. It involves removing the nerve that is the cause of the problem.
There is a possibility that there is a gum disease or exposed teeth due to the erosion of gum line. Visit a dentist before it advances to any further stage.
How to Prevent Sensitive Teeth?
With proper care and precautions, you can prevent the tooth sensitivity.
- Brushing your teeth regularly each day is highly recommended. It will also reduce the risk of tooth sensitivity.
- Fluoride gel treatment helps in strengthening the enamel, decreasing sensitivity and pain. The dentist may suggest toothpaste with higher fluoride content that coats the enamel with fluoride, reducing sensitivity.
- Stay away from acidic food which may wear down the enamel making it vulnerable.
Focus on your dental health and hygiene to avoid issues of dental sensitivity.