Dental Sensitivity – Why It Happens

There are people who will avoid eating cold and hot foods at all cost. The reason behind this being that their teeth will hurt. This painful condition is called tooth sensitivity, and it can be treated. A huge number of adults experience this condition. It is important to know the causes tooth sensitivity so you can avoid this condition before it makes your life very uncomfortable.

What is the origin of dentin hypersensitivity?

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The inner parts of the tooth are made of a material referred to as dentin. Dentin consists of many tiny tubules that are filled with nerve endings. The enamel, the hard and white outer layer, protects the dentin. Enamel is found on the crown part of your tooth. A layer called cementum protects the dentin that extends to the region of the roots of the tooth. Tooth sensitivity begins when the inner part of the tooth, dentin, loses its protective layers; enamel and cementum. When the nerves in dentin are exposed to heat and cold, they are irritated. You can imagine how painful it can be.

Causes of sensitivity in teeth

There are certain dental issues that trigger tooth sensitivity. These issues include;

  • Wearing out of the enamel due to the use of a hard toothbrush or brushing aggressively
  • Erosion of the enamel due to acids that form in the mouth
  • Dental carries cause some parts of the tooth to break away exposing the dentin
  • Recession of the gum that leaves the roots of teeth exposed
  • Grinding of teeth which causes degradation of the enamel
  • Post-dental procedures- this is common, but it should not be persistent. The tooth may become temporarily sensitive to procedures such as crowns, bleaching, and fillings.

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Preventing tooth sensitivity

At home, there are a few things you can do to prevent tooth sensitivity. The toothbrush used should have soft bristles to prevent degradation of the enamel. Using toothpaste that manufactured for the purpose of soothing nerve endings can help treat mild cases of tooth sensitivity (sensitivity will always start as mild pain and slowly develop to excruciating pain). Toothpaste with a high concentration of fluoride helps strengthen the enamel; sensitivity is caused by degradation of the enamel.


Visiting a dentist is one of the best ways to deal with tooth sensitivity. Once you visit the dentist, you should describe the condition you are having in details. The dentist expects you to remember when the sensitivity started. It is also good to let the dentist know of anything that you do to make the sensitivity not feel painful. Some of the things known to make sensitivity less painful are warm compresses.

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The dentist will establish the cause of the sensitivity from the conversation you have with him. The dentist will treat the sensitivity by treating the cause of the sensitivity. Treatment might involve the dentist treating a cavity or replacing a filling that is worn out. In some cases, the dentist will apply fluoride varnish to the areas that are experiencing the pain due to sensitivity. Fluoride varnish strengthens both the dentin and the enamel. Another common procedure that dentists perform for sensitivity is applying fluoride gel. The fluoride gel is applied on a mouth tray, and then the mouth tray is placed inside your

mouth for 4 minutes. The gel contains fluoride in very high concentration. Bonding can also treat sensitivity. If the cause of the sensitivity has anything to do with the gum the dentist will perform a gum graft; this will protect the parts of the roots that are exposed to heat and cold from food and drinks.

If the pain is not unbearable, you have the option of desensitizing products. These are found in chemists. Their effects take time but at the end of it all, they will deliver good results. Desensitizing toothpaste is available over the counter. The effectiveness of these OTC desensitizing toothpaste is dependent on the brand. If you are seeking more effective desensitizing toothpaste, visit a dentist for prescribed sensitizing toothpaste. The prescribed ones are more expensive than those bought at the chemist. Get a prescription from a dentist for more effective desensitizing products.