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Home>>Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth Sensitivity

What is tooth sensitivity?

It can be defined as a stinging reaction in one or more teeth triggered by hot, cold, sweet or sour foods and drinks. This pain can be sharp, sudden and shoot deep into the nerve endings of your teeth.

Apart from a cavity or a missing filling, the most common cause of tooth sensitivity is exposed dentin of the roots of your teeth. Normally, the dentin (the second layer of the tooth is more sensitive) is surrounded and protected by your enamel, cementum (special root covering) and gums. The cause or mechanism of dentinal sensitivity is still not well understood. It is believed that the little tubes that connect the dentin to the nerve or pulp serve as sensory conductors. That sensation may be one of pain - "AOUCH!!!"

Causes of exposed root surfaces which may result in dentinal sensitivity:

  • Brushing too hard - Over a period of time, brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled tooth brush may wear away enamel or cementum and cause the dentin to be exposed.
  • Recession of the gums - movement of gums away from the tooth due to periodontal disease will expose the root surface.
  • Gum disease - inflamed and sore gum tissue may also cause sensitivity due to the loss of supporting ligaments which exposes root surface.
  • Improper brushing method: brushing in horizontal direction alone can cause saucer shaped wearing off of the necks of the teeth - especially the back teeth.

Other causes of sensitive teeth:

  • Cracked teeth - chipped or broken teeth may fill up with bacteria from plaque and enter the pulp causing an inflammatory reaction.
  • Grinding your teeth - Grinding or clenching your teeth may wear down the enamel and expose underlying dentin.
  • Plaque - The presence of plaque on the root surfaces can cause sensitivity.

What to do at home?

  • Maintain good oral hygiene - continue to clean all parts of your teeth and mouth thoroughly.
  • Use a soft bristled tooth brush - this will result in less tooth brush abrasion of the tooth surface.
  • Use desensitizing toothpaste - there are many in the market. With regular use you should feel a decreased sensitivity.
  • Consider what you eat - if you frequently eat foods high in acids, such as citrus fruits (example sucking on lemons) they can gradually dissolve the enamel over time, leading to dentin exposure. The citric acids may aggravate the hypersensitivity and initiate a painful reaction
  • Use fluoridated dental products - as an example, with a daily application of a fluoridated mouth rinse, hypersensitivity usually decreases. Ask your dentist about a daily fluoride rinse for home use.
  • Practice proper brushing method - vertical strokes to clean the front teeth and rolling motion for the back teeth.

Location Map

Get In Touch

Thangam Dental Clinic
52/91 P.S.sivaswami Salai,
Mylapore, Chennai.
Landmark: Near Classic Restaurant
Pincode: 600004
For Appointment :
+91 - 44 - 24981089
+91 - 9444028540