Everything You Need to Know to Manage Dentin Hypersensitivity
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.
What is dentin hypersensitivity?
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 of dentin hypersensitivity
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.
Symptoms of dentin hypersensitivity
The most obvious symptom of dentin hypersensitivity is sharp pain. We mentioned ‘brain freeze’ before, however, the pain of dentin hypersensitivity is much sharper and isolated to your teeth. This type of discomfort, particularly after consuming hot or cold items.
When dentin hypersensitivity strikes, it can affect a single tooth or multiple teeth, depending on the damage to your tooth enamel. And while enamel can never be repaired, there are still a wide variety of treatment options available.
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.
· 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.
For cases where only one tooth is affected, you may be suited to a single implant. This process involves removing the old, damaged tooth and replacing it with a bio-compatible replacement. The bone grows around your implant, so this is an excellent way to replace a single damaged tooth.
Some hypersensitivity problems can be caused by gum recession. As the gum recedes, it exposes a portion of the tooth that has no enamel, often resulting in sharp pain when consuming hot or cold food and drink. If gum recession is the cause of your tooth pain, 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.
In more severe cases where tooth decay is present, your dentist may also recommend other forms of therapy such as a root canal, or the use of crowns or bridges. The use of a crown or bridge is a way to effectively ‘cover’ the damaged tooth. It’s usually a treatment for cracked or damaged teeth, but if the erosion of your tooth enamel is bad enough, it may be beneficial to explore these options as a more permanent fix.
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 is also specialised toothpaste 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
You might be wondering if there are any treatments you can undertake at home or lifestyle changes you can make to improve dental hygiene. The answer is a resounding yes. As we mentioned, tooth enamel can never be replaced once it is worn away. However, there are ways to look after your teeth and limit the pain you currently experience.
Here are a few ways to take care of your 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 check-ups to stay on top of your oral health.
How can Dental Avenue Parramatta help you?
For guidance on managing your hypersensitive teeth, contact our caring dentists at Dental Avenue Parramatta. We understand that every mouth is different. We take the time to carefully consult with you about the severity of your hypersensitivity and work to understand the cause. From there, we can suggest a range of different treatments to improve your standard of life. Nobody wants to go through life avoiding hot or cold foods due to tooth pain. So, make a booking online today, and we’ll be more than happy to help. For more information, call us on 1300 315 540, and we’ll see you as soon as possible!
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