Dentin Hypersensitivity

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What is dentin hypersensitivity?

Dentin hypersensitivity is a sharp or burning pain that occurs when exposed dentin is touched, often with a toothbrush, dental floss, chewing gum, cold foods and drinks, hot foods and drinks, or sweet-tasting foods. This condition can be common in adults over the age of 50.

People who have it may notice they cannot eat ice cream or chew on minty gum without experiencing pain. Forms of treatment include using desensitizing toothpaste, buffering agents applied to the teeth to limit their exposure to hot and cold sensations from eating and drinking hot and cold beverages as well as rinsing sensitive teeth after consuming extreme temperatures. In addition to professional treatments such as restorative or cosmetic procedures done by a dentist, home remedies may be helpful, such as chewing sugar-free gum, sucking on ice cubes, or rinsing the mouth with a solution of baking soda.

Some people experience it only occasionally; others can feel pain from even light biting. Sometimes it is described as an intense stabbing pain that may last 30 seconds to five minutes.

What causes dentin hypersensitivity?

  • Toothbrush abrasion

Improper brushing techniques may damage the tooth enamel and result in the exposure of the dentin. Dentists recommend a soft-bristle brush as well as gently scrubbing from the gum line toward the crown of the tooth. In addition, people should not brush their teeth right after eating or drinking acidic foods and beverages that can wear down enamel and expose more dentin.

  • Scaling and root planning

Scaling is an invasive dentist procedure to remove tartar and hardened plaque along with scaling under your gums where it cannot be reached by a regular toothbrush. Root planing smooths rough edges on root surfaces so bacteria will have fewer places to attach themselves.

  • Gum disease

Gum disease can also worsen dentin hypersensitivity. Gum disease - also called gingivitis - is a common infection that causes red, swollen, and bleeding gums with progressively worse breath accompanied by pain when chewing.

  • Crooked teeth

Crooked teeth can be more sensitive due to irregular spacing of the teeth or sharp points from chipped or broken teeth. In most cases, nightguards have been recommended for those who grind their teeth during sleep as well as gum reshaping procedures are done by your dentist might help with the condition.5)Reaction to drugs such as antihistamines Chronic use of certain drugs can lead to xerostomia (dry mouth), leads to increased tooth demineralization, tooth wear, and dentin hypersensitivity.

  • Genetic predisposition

Some people may be predisposed to developing the condition due to genetics, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Genetic factors are believed to play a role in some types of hypersensitivity.

  • Refractive surgery

Sensitivity in teeth may occur after undergoing refractive eye surgery such as LASIK, which causes damage to nerves inside the mouth. In these cases, patients can experience a sudden and severe increase in hypersensitivity that resolves within six to nine months. Lasik does not cause permanent hypersensitivity problems.

  • Age

Aging People over the age of 50 are more likely to experience hypersensitivity as their gums gradually recede, exposing more of the tooth root surface and making dentin more visible.

How to treat dentin hypersensitivity?

  • Sensitivity toothpaste 

A sensitive toothpaste may help relieve hypersensitivity. Some contain potassium nitrate, which reduces dentin permeability by blocking the opening of nerve channels within the tooth. According to ADA, it takes about three weeks for these treatments to provide relief.

  • Stress relieving toothpaste

Other toothpastes used to treat hypersensitivity contain strontium chloride, which inhibits transmission of pain signals in the nerve fibers that contribute to dentin hypersensitivity.

  • Sensodyne repair and protect

Repair & Protect Sensodyne® is clinically proven to relieve sensitive teeth for up to 4 hours with twice-daily brushing. It provides relief by forming a protective barrier over exposed dentin so it can heal itself where it's vulnerable most. Sensodyne® also contains potassium nitrate, which reduces dentin permeability by blocking the opening of nerve channels within your teeth. This helps reduce painful sensitivity from hot, cold, or sweets.

  • Sensodyne Pronamel

Sensodyne Pronamel strengthens your enamel. It blocks the attachment of plaque bacteria to your tooth enamel, which forms the basis for decay and cavity-causing bacteria. Plus, it provides lasting protection against painful sensitivity from hot, cold, or sweets. And because Sensodyne Pronamel doesn't contain fluoride*, you can use it with braces!

  • Desensitizing trays

Lastly, if you have mild to moderate dentin hypersensitivity that's not easily relieved by the treatments above, ask your dentist about Trays. They're custom-fitted plastic impressions that you fill with an in-office desensitizing gel called ACP. The gel, which contains calcium sodium phosphosilicate (CSPS), is gradually released over four to six weeks to re-harden exposed dentin and block nerve endings.

Tips for taking care of your teeth

  • Brushing

Remember to brush at least twice daily. Be gentle, but thorough. If you have dentin hypersensitivity, consider switching to a sensitive-specific toothpaste like Sensodyne Repair & Protect (which contains potassium nitrate), and don't forget to floss!

  • Flossing

Don't neglect your gums; they're the body's first line of defense against infection and disease. Never yank out stuck food particles with tweezers or other sharp implements; instead use dental tape, an angled pick (like Reach Gum Care Angled Pick ), or a specialized flossing tool like Oral B Glide Pro-Health Comfort Plus Mint Floss. These items are designed specifically for effective cleaning in and around tight spots, like those between teeth.

  • Diet

It may seem obvious, but limit intake of acidic and spicy foods, which can harm your enamel and worsen dentin hypersensitivity. Sugar-free chewing gums and hard candies also can help because they stimulate saliva production, which coats your teeth with calcium and other minerals to strengthen enamel.

  • Visit the dentist regularly

Take care of your sensitive teeth by seeing a dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings as part of your regular oral hygiene regimen. That's the easiest way to catch early signs of decay or other issues that could become major problems down the road!

Dentists recommend that you brush twice a day with a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth, floss daily, and limit how much acidic or spicy food you eat. If these methods don't work after three weeks, ask your dentist about trays filled with a desensitizing gel. Limit intake of acidic and spicy foods. Visit the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings to catch early signs of decay or other issues that could become major problems down the road!

A smile is synonymous with pleasure and desire, usmile’s oral care products help you show off your perfect teeth! 

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