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Have you ever felt pain or discomfort after a bite of ice cream or a spoonful of hot soup? If so, you're not alone. While pain caused by hot or cold foods could be a sign of a cavity, it's also common in people who have sensitive teeth.
Tooth Sensitivity, or "dentin hypersensitivity," is exactly what it sounds like: pain or discomfort in the teeth as a response to certain stimuli, such as hot or cold temperatures.
The most common triggers include:
Your symptoms may come and go over time for no obvious reason. They may range from mild to intense. It may be temporary or a chronic problem, and it can affect one tooth, several teeth, or all the teeth in a single individual. It can have a number of different causes, but most cases of sensitive teeth are easily treated with a change in your oral hygiene regimen.
Some people naturally have more sensitive teeth than others due to having thinner enamel. The enamel is the outer layer of the tooth that protects it. In many cases, the tooth's enamel can be worn down from:
Dentinal hypersensitivity, or tooth sensitivity, is a common dental problem. It's a condition that can develop over time, as a result of common problems such as receding gums and/or enamel wear. Most sufferers are between 20 and 50 years old. Tooth sensitivity can start to happen when the softer, inner part of the tooth called 'dentin' becomes exposed. Dentin is the “sensitive layer" and it lies under the enamel and the gums.
Thousands of microscopic channels run through the dentine towards the centre of the tooth. Once the dentine is exposed, external triggers (such as a cold drink) can stimulate the nerves inside the tooth, causing the characteristic short, sharp sensation of tooth sensitivity.
Our dental specialist at Therapeuo can confirm you have dentinal hypersensitivity. If you are diagnosed with dentinal hypersensitivity, you can help to minimise further exposure of the dentin, care for your sensitive teeth and relieve the symptoms by making some simple changes to your daily oral care routine and dietary habits.
If you've ever winced after an unwelcome sensation of tooth sensitivity, you're not the only one. But remember, there can be many different causes of dental sensation, other than tooth sensitivity. So, if you are feeling any discomfort, especially if it persists, the best thing you can do is visit your dentist and seek professional advice.
If you're experiencing tooth sensitivity for the first time, do not sit idle. Attend to it immediately and call us for an appointment. We will look at the health of your teeth and check for potential problems like cavities, loose fillings, or recessed gums that could be causing the sensitivity. We will also take an OPG X-ray (full mouth dental scan) to help diagnose your problem.
Depending on your tooth sensitivity we will either change your oral hygiene methods, prescribe better toothpastes and mouth rinses or carry out treatment (tooth fillings, gum procedures, mouthguards etc) to relieve your pain.
If you have an underlying medical condition that has caused the sensitivity (GERD, Bulimia, Hyper acidity etc) usually treating these underlying causes would help ease the pain. This would be the first step in our treatment plan to help you get better.
Your teeth may be temporarily sensitive following dental work like getting fillings, crowns, or teeth bleaching. In this case, sensitivity will also be confined to one tooth or the teeth surrounding the tooth that received dental work. This should subside after several days.