What Is Dentin Hypersensitivity And How Do You Manage It?
It’s likely that we have all experienced the occasional ‘brain freeze’ from ice cream or chilled drinks. Tooth sensitivity is an uncomfortable and sometimes debilitating condition that impacts daily life. If you experience ongoing, consistent irritation from eating hot or cold things, it may be that you have dentin hypersensitivity.
Hypersensitivity- what is it?
Dentin sensitivity is a nerve issue. Nerves are located in the middle of teeth and are protected by the outer layer. Your outer tooth layer – the one you see – is called ‘enamel’. Nerves do not communicate with the enamel coating, which protects you from experiencing nerve pain and/or sensitivity sensations when the enamel is intact. When your tooth enamel is compromised and worn away in areas, the inner surface of your tooth is exposed. This surface is called “dentin” and is sensitive as it does communicate with the nerve. When the hard enamel surface is compromised, leading to the exposure of the dentin surface, dentin sensitivity results. Sharp nerve pain and discomfort are likely signs.
Causes and triggers
There are a number of factors that can cause damage to enamel and dentin hypersensitivity. The most common factors include:
- Excessive tooth brushing and using a toothbrush with hard bristles.
- Eating or drinking acidic and sugary foods.
- Other dental conditions such as receding gums, grinding teeth, damaged fillings, or general tooth decay.
Common triggers include the consumption of foods and beverages that are either hot or cold. The extreme temperatures irritate the nerves and cause pain and discomfort to the dentin.
Dentin hypersensitivity treatment options
It is important to consult with your Parramatta dentist to understand the root cause of the dentin hypersensitivity being experienced. Your dentist in Parramatta will ask fundamental questions to define the exact cause, so think about how long you’ve been experiencing discomfort, how bad the sensation is, and what the specific triggers are. For example, is it a sharp pain that comes and goes or is it more of a persistent, nagging ache? Do you have hypersensitive teeth that are bothered by hot food, cold drinks, or acidic food (tomatoes, yoghurt, wine)? Can you tell which specific tooth reacts? Our dental clinic in Parramatta has polite, friendly and patient staff who will gently guide you to help determine the cause and best treatment solution for you.
It may be that you require a new filling or a repair to a damaged filling. If it’s about gum recession, we can help you manage it with tailored products and a care plan. Other options include sealing the damaged tooth using resins or dental cement. Some dentists also advocate the direct application of casein, calcium phosphate, or bioglass that help seal different parts of the exposed tooth surfaces.
Products for dentin hypersensitivity
In some cases, your Parramatta dental clinic might advise you to use a topical treatment as part of your treatment plan. Your dentist may treat you in the office with a fluoride gel application. There are also specialised toothpastes on the market for dentin hypersensitivity, which work by blocking communication temporarily to the nerve. Ultimately this means you don’t feel the pain that results from dentin hypersensitivity. By easing dentin sensitivity, it allows you to keep eating and drinking and enjoying your quality of life.
Easy to apply tips to prevent hypersensitive teeth
- Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and use toothpaste specific for sensitive teeth.
- Avoid acidic and sugary foods, and rinse well with water after consumption.
- Floss daily.
- Visit your dentist regularly for checkups to stay on top of your oral health.
For guidance on managing your hypersensitive teeth, contact our caring dentists at Dental Avenue Parramatta. Call us today on 80 040 055, and we’ll see you as soon as possible!
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