Dentine hypersensitivity, another name for teeth sensitivity, is an oral condition that occurs when the tubules of the cementum or enamel, which are microscopic, allow cold and hot, sticky, and acidic substances to reach or travel to the cells and nerve tissue inside the dentine part of the tooth. This happens when the dentine part of the tooth is exposed due to damage, erosion, or fracture to the enamel, the hard outer covering of the tooth. Sensitivity could also be caused by worn-out dental fillings, gum disease, using a hard-bristled toothbrush, teeth grinding, brushing too hard or a bare tooth root caused by the recession in the gums.
How dentists treat tooth sensitivity
After a diagnosis has been made, the general dentist makes a treatment plan depending on the cause of the sensitivity. Sensitive teeth are treated by placing a crown or bonding on decayed or worn-down teeth. A surgical gum grafting procedure helps replace lost gum tissue, reduce gums' recession, and protect or hide the tooth root. For severely sensitive teeth, a root canal procedure may be recommended. This procedure ensures the pulp chamber and canal contents are extracted from the tooth. The nerves are removed, and a crown may be placed over the tooth for support and aesthetics.
Preventive procedures such as sealants, veneers, and bonding are good options to ensure you are never in distress. Composite material is used in these preventive treatments and has cosmetic advantages. Dentists will also recommend using a desensitizing mouth rinse and toothpaste. These products help shield the dentine from sensations and gradually work to reduce sensitivity. Fluoride gel, rinses, and toothpaste are also recommended to ensure your enamel is always protected from erosion and damage. In-office fluoride treatments ensure maximum enamel strengthening and reduce the transmission of sensations through the enamel.
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