Do you refrain from consuming?
-touching teeth with your tongue or other teeth
Because you sense pain or a certain level of discomfort?
If the answer to the above is yes then you may be suffering from a teeth condition called “Tooth Sensitivity”.
Types of Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity can be classified into two types
What is Dentinal Sensitivity?
The middle layer of our teeth is called dentin. Generally, the dentine is protected (covered) by enamel above the gumline and below the gumline it is protected by cemetum. The centre of our teeth has a nerve branch, which emerges from the tooth’s pulp (which is the center of the tooth).
Whenever the protective cover of the dentin which is the enamel or the centum are stripped off from the dentinal, the tooth becomes exposed. When the exposed tooth comes in contact with cold or hot things, the nerves get affected thus causing dentinal sensitivity. Dentinal sensitivity may affect more than one teeth.
Some causes of Dentinal Sensitivity are as follows:
a. Inadequate oral hygiene because of which tartar may start accumulating at the gums thereby causing the minerals to depreciate from the tooth.
b. Vigorous brushing of the teeth- which destroys the enamel of the teeth
c. Tooth wear for a long time
d. Periodontal diseases which affect the gums of the teeth.
e. A cracked filling
f. Consumption of acidic foods and beverages.
g. Tooth whitening by people who have poor roots
h. Cavities which have not been treated for a long time
i. Surgery of the gums which may leave the roots of the teeth exposed.
What is Pulpal Sensitivity
The pulp of the tooth which is the center of the tooth is made up of blood vessels and nerves. By any reason if the pulp of the teeth becomes exposed it causes Pulpal sensitivity. This condition generally affects only one tooth at a time.
Some causes of Pulpal Sensitivity are as follows:
a. A filling done lately
b. An infection or teeth decay.
c. Clenching or grinding
d. A tooth which is cracked or broken (if you have a cracked teeth or feeling you will sense a pain on biting.
What are the Symptoms of Tooth Sensitivity?
If your tooth or teeth have a reaction to any kind of temperature change or pressure then you may be suffering from either one of the sensitivity. Also, a reaction to cold or hot things when consumed is also one of the symptoms of tooth sensitivity. If you notice that the sensitivity of your tooth has changed from being sensitivity to cold things towards hot things it means that the nerve of the tooth may be slowly dying and in requirement of a root canal treatment.
What are the Diagnosis of Tooth Sensitivity?
Your dentist may do the following:
a. Question you about your oral habits
b. Examine your dental history
c. Use an explorer (a metal instrument having a sharp point) to find tooth sensitivity.
d. Conduct tests to determine if you require root canal treatment.
e. Examine the tooth for decay, exposed root surfaces and deep metal fillings.
It is worth noting here, that your tooth may become sensitive to cold for a few days after your filling is made. This is so, because, the metal present in the amalgam (silver) transmits the cold to the nerves. In case of bonded fillings (colored fillings) the tooth is etched with acid before the filling is carried out. Therefore, sometimes the etching removes the enamel and makes the teeth sensitivity. But advancements made in bonding now have decreased tooth sensitivity.
What are the Preventive actions for Tooth Sensitivity?
You can avoid Dentinal sensitivity if you adhere to the following:
a. Use a soft or ultrasoft toothbrush. Brush your teeth in an upward and downward direction instead of brushing it from side to side.
b. Getting treated for grinding and clenching.
c. Use a toothpaste which has been approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) and which has a seal of their approval.
d. Use a toothpaste having a fluoride and mouth rinse
e. Brush your teeth twice daily and floss it daily
You can avoid Pulpal sensitivity by:
(a) Getting a root canal treatment done on time: Delaying a root canal treatment is a good way of preventing pulpal sensitivity. If not, it can lead to further problems.
What is the treatment for Tooth Sensitivity?
The treatment for Dentinal Sensitivity is as follows:
a. Cleaning the teeth: Your dentist will clean the teeth. If the teeth have become too sensitive the dentist may use a local anesthetic or nitrous oxide.
b. Applications for sensitivity: After cleaning the teeth your dentist will apply fluoride vanish to protect the teeth. This is however, just a temporary remedy but it strengthens the teeth. He/She may also apply an in-office treatment which blocks the tubules (opening) in the teeth that cause sensitivity.
c. Toothpastes and mouth wash that contain fluoride help to reduce sensitivity. Using such products will help your teeth against sensitivity.
d. Using tooth pastes that are especially made for sensitive teeth.
e. Consulting the dentist before using fluoride rinses as some are acidic. Always remember to use a neutral sodium fluoride for the teeth.
The treatment for Dentinal Sensitivity is as follows:
a. A root canal treatment where the nerve of the tooth is damaged or dying.
b. If it is due to amalgam (silver) filling, it will disappear in a few days.
c. A high filling that causes sensitivity can be polished off by the dentist.
d. Treatment for sensitivity caused due to grinding or clenching.
Source by Cristian Stan