I am 100 % sure of this.
No matter whether you are sixteen years or sixty years definitely at one point of time you may feel this…
Yes, I am talking about the tingling sensation when you bite your favourite Belgian chocolate ice cream bar. If so, you are not alone.
Uhhh, when we talk about ice cream I feel like I want one.
If this discomfort is only for the extreme cold ice cream it is quite ok.
But think about the people who have this sharp pain every time when they eat ice cream, bite their favourite sweets or sipping their hot coffee?
Yes, one in 5 adults suffers from sensitive tooth problems.
Now you may have this question in your mind. How can I sort problems related to tooth sensitivity?
If we know the root cause of the tooth sensitivity, it is easy to solve.
What Causes Tooth sensitivity?
This sharp sensation and discomfort or pain caused by the cold, sweets or hot foods and beverages could be a sign of any of this condition
Not only hot and cold but sweet and sour also a trigger for sensitive teeth.
In some individuals these symptoms may come and go with no obvious reason. Some others have a serious underlying medical condition like GastroEsophageal reflux disease (GERD) -acids from the stomach come up and erode the back surface of the tooth.
Bad Oral habits & Tooth Sensitivity Relationship
Some individuals often miss out on taking good care of our teeth.
- Vigorous tooth brushing
- Long brushing time
- Using Hard toothbrushes
- Night grinding/ Clenching
- Consuming Acidic foods and beverages regularly.
The cumulative effects of any of these factors have a direct impact on Enamel, the protective outer coating of the crown portion of the tooth. Sometimes it affects the gum tissue and the tooth roots are exposed.
Now you are wondering why my teeth are sensitive all of a sudden?
In tooth outer thick covering is enamel on the crown and cementum on the roots. That porous middle layer is dentin it is made up of multiple small openings known as Dentinal tubules /Channels which we can see only in microscopes not with our naked eye. The nerves present inside these dentinal tubules get stimulated causing a slight tingling to sharp pain.
That is why ,Tooth Sensitivity is otherwise known as Dentin hypersensitivity.
Image Credit: Encyclopedia. Britannica
How do you get rid of sensitive tooth Fast?
#1. Best Brushing Practice
Use soft or ultra soft toothbrushes and gentle brushing can help to prevent further damage of the remaining thin enamel layer. Use the right brushing technique. Avoid vigorous tooth brushing and long duration brushing . Avoid frayed and broken bristles.
#2. Choosing Ideal Toothpaste for Sensitivity
Compared to regular toothpaste, Choose toothpaste specifically made for sensitive tooth with desensitizing ingredients. These special and active ingredients block the pain signals travelled along the nerve in the dentinal tubules.
The effectiveness of this desensitising paste varies with various active ingredients like Pottasium nitrate, Stannous Fluoride, Strontium Chloride, Novamin, Biomin….
It takes a few days to a few weeks to get rid of symptoms. Even though it may reduce the discomfort, it will not address the underlying main cause.
#3 Choosing Correct Mouthwash
Have you ever experienced a burning sensation while using mouthwash?
Do you think it’s due to the mint effect?
Then you are wrong, it is the ethanol present in that mouthwash causes that discomfort.
Now you are wondering why they add alcohol in mouthwash ? Actually it kills and reduces the bacterial count in your mouth.
But, Alcohol free mouthwash may be the smart choice for sensitive teeth, as it will be less irritating.
Not only for sensitive teeth, but if you want to use mouthwash for long run this alcohol free mouthwash is an ideal option than ethanol based mouthwashes.
# 4 . Applying Fluoride varnish
Fluoride varnish- a resin based fluoride is East to apply, making the enamel surface layer impermeable and primarily used to prevent tooth decay. Dentist will clean and dry the tooth surface and paint this varnish over the enamel with a small brush. It forms a sticky covering over the tooth.
Not only it prevents tooth decay, but reduces the sensitivity by sealing the dentin surface and decreases the dentin permeability.
At Sakti dental, We use high quality fluoride varnish that seals the exposed dentin and strengthens the thin enamel surface layer.
# 5. Tooth Filling
In Decayed tooth or root exposure cases, dental filling will prevent tooth decay and seal the exposed root at the gum margins.
At Sakti dental, we use high grade tooth coloured filling for the cavity and gum recession individuals gum colour (light pink /dark pink) fillings to maintain the esthetics.
Some gum recession individuals require gum grafting.
# 6. Mouth Guard (Night Guard)
Grinding or clenching habits (Bruxism) causes thinning of enamel, and thereby causing sensitivity.
It can be easily treated by wearing a night guard . Various types of night guards available- Soft, Hard.
We make customized night guards that will reduces/preventing the teeth grinding , reduces the risk of enamel thinning and further teeth sensitivity issue.
Don’t choose your desensitising tooth paste based on TV commercial ads, discuss your dentist about prescription toothpaste and mouthwash.
You should also make an appointment with us if you experience symptoms of cavities or potential root damage so you can get treatment quickly and prevent complications.
No one single method will fix this sensitive tooth issue. There are many variables. Identifying and focusing the cause of Tooth sensitivity can help us to understand how to treat and prevent it from occurring again.
Dr. Shiva Sankar is the Clinical Director and Orthodontist at Sakti Dental Clinic, Tirunelveli with over 18+ years of experience in dentistry. He is also a Professor in the Department of Orthodontics, Rajas Dental College affiliated to, Dr.MGR Medical University. Dr. Shiva Sankar frequently publishes research papers in leading scientific national and international journals.