FYI: tooth sensitivity

31 May 2013

Tooth sensitivity points towards dentin or root sensitivity; tooth sensitivity can be easily figured out if you feel discomfort when consuming, hot, cold acid or sweet foods. However, don't panic. It has been estimated that half of the population suffered from tooth sensitivity at some point during their life time and most likely, will suffer from it again. So what causes for our teeth to hurt when chewing certain foods? Receding gums and periodontal disease are usually associated with dentin or root exposure and that's what causes discomfort.

Basically our dental root does not present the same kind of enamel present on our tooth crowns. Instread of the enamel, the roots are covered with cementum and when this is lost, the dentin is exposed to various stimuli.

Other factors that lead to sensitivity are aggressive brushing, the consumption of acid foods, the use of abrasive dental products. All of these can lead to damaging the tooth's enamel and exposing the dentin to be found underneath.

So how to you prevent the occurrence of dental sensitivity? First of all, you need to take care of your teeth on a daily basis. Brush your teeth gently and use quality dental products, including dental floss and mouth wash. Also, make sure your daily diet does not contain a heavy load of acid foods.

If you do feel pain when drinking or eating hot/cold/sweet aliments, don't wait around for it to pass; instead make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Once he examines your teeth, you will be provided with the right treatment that might include using a desensitizing toothpaste, a fluoride gel or varnishes, and in extreme cases, tooth fillings to cover up the area where there is a severe exposure of dentine.