Dental sensitivity: how to control it?

Dental sensitivity, also called hypersensitivity, is a sensation of pain that occurs in the teeth to stimuli such as cold, heat, and so on.

Although many cases occur after eating certain foods, it is sometimes the result of a problem in the gums or tooth enamel wear. Do you know its causes and treatments? Here we detail it.

What is tooth sensitivity?

Dental sensitivity is a painful sensation in the teeth that usually appears after being exposed to stimuli such as cold or heat.

It is a painful sensation that occurs before different stimuli due to dentin exposure, tooth decay, cusp rupture, gum recession or bruxism.

All these pathologies have in common that there is a loss of enamel, cement or gum,  which are the dental protective materials against the various aggressors.

By losing these tissues, the dentin tubules are exposed in the oral cavity and are able to drive these stimuli to the pulp, which is the part where the vascularization and nerve endings of the tooth .

If the pain is not only associated with stimuli such as cold and heat, appearing spontaneously, the diagnosis may not be dental sensitivity but there may be another pathology such as pulpitis.

Therefore, the visit to the healthcare professional is important to be able to screen other types of pathologies that can coexist with hypersensitivity.

Studies have evaluated that between 9 and 30% of adults have dental sensitivity. It usually appears between the ages of 18 and 40.

Sensitive Teeth

Factors that produce dental sensitivity

  • Defective restorations
  • Cavities.
  • Periodontal disease.
  • Bruxism
  • Gum loss
  • Erosions due to brushing.
  • Exposure or intake of acidic foods.
  • Erosion by medications, such as aspirin.
  • Habits like smoking a pipe.
  • Teeth whitening treatments not done correctly.
  • Diseases such as bulimia due to enamel wear caused by gastric acids.

How can we control tooth sensitivity?

Attending a professional consultation is decisive to give adequate handling to sensitivity.

The first step is to identify the cause of tooth sensitivity. The treatment will depend on each cause:

  • Defective restoration: we must replace the restoration.
  • If the reason is decay: it will be controlled by cleaning and rebuilding the tooth.
  • Periodontal disease: the disease must be treated, either only gingivitis or periodontitis with a professional cleaning, a scraping and root smoothing or the treatment that each patient needs.
  • Bruxism: the control bruxism is performed by using ferrules download.
  • Abrupt   brushing : it is important to educate the patient in correct hygiene techniques, avoiding brushed brushes and hard brushes.
  • Acid foods: Excessive use of acidic foods in the tooth causes enamel wear, correcting the diet in these cases can eliminate the problem.
  • Incorrect teeth whitening: teeth whitening treatments should always be performed under the supervision of a professional to avoid negative side effects in the oral cavity.

Symptomatic treatments

There are different marketable products that can be used to reduce tooth sensitivity. Within them we find:

  • Desensitizing pastes: they block the passage of stimuli through the dental tubules, preventing them from reaching the pulp and triggering pain.
  • Fluoride: we can find it both in mouthwashes, in toothpastes, gels, etc. Fluorine is capable of transforming enamel hydroxyapattatite into fluorhydroxyapatite, which is a harder component and that decreases the passage of external stimuli to dentin, controlling sensitivity .

In summary

There are several factors that can lead to tooth sensitivity. Therefore, to give it proper management, it is essential to establish its origin. In this way, the underlying cause is treated, while providing its own treatment for sensitivity.

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