Hypersensitivity of teeth is a sharp shooting but short dental pain that occurs in response to various stimuli like thermal, electrical or chemical. Even breathing in cold air may trigger this pain. Exposed dentin is the major cause. We will look into what causes the exposure of dentin and how to manage it.
Many factors lead to sensitive teeth such as-
1. Gum disease-Gingivitis and periodontitis may cause the loss of periodontal structures surrounding the teeth which expose the root surface. That leads to direct exposure of the nerve endings
2. The recession of gum- Gums may move away from the tooth surface because of diseased gums, brushing too hard, or increasing age.
3. Brushing too hard or using a brush with hard bristles- Brushing with too much force or even using improper brushing technique may wear down the protective layer (enamel) of the tooth exposing those tiny microscopic dentinal tubules.
4. Tooth grinding- Grinding your teeth may cause wear of enamel and exposure of dentin.
5. Tooth decay at the gum line and around fillings.
6. Cracked teeth- Chipped off areas of teeth are prone to plaque accumulation. The bacteria within the plaque may seep into the dentin and further through the dentinal tubules causing inflammation at the nerve end.
7. Acidic food and beverages- Citrus fruits, tomatoes, pickles, tea and cold drinks may cause erosion of enamel if taken regularly.
8. Tooth whitening products, mouthwashes.
9.Recent dental procedures- Some in office procedures may cause temporary sensitivity of teeth like- whitening procedures, root canal treatment, extraction of teeth or even placement of a crown.
10. Plaque builds up on the root surface may cause infiltration of bacteria into the nerve causing inflammation and hence sensitivity.
Tooth sensitivity is treatable. But you always have to visit your dentist and let him/her evaluate the main cause and map out a proper treatment plan.