While enjoying chill ice cream or hot coffee, if you feel pain or sensitivity, your regular coffee and favorite ice cream become loathing. You may feel sensitivity during brushing or flossing.
How dental sensitivity occurs?
The crown of our teeth is covered by a protective outer layer called enamel, which is the hardest and highly mineralized substance in the human body. The roots of our teeth are covered by a calcified substance called cementum. Underneath the enamel and cementum is dentin. Dentine contains numerous dentinal tubules which directly connect to the most vital part of the tooth called the pulp. When dentine of the tooth is exposed to stimuli causes sharp pain or sensitivity.
What are the causes of dental sensitivity?
The surface of the tooth substance can be lost gradually by chemical or acid dissolution called erosion. The person who suffers from Gastroesophageal reflex disease erosion may be seen. When tooth structure is lost due to mastication (chewing) called attrition. The normal aging process, abnormalities in chewing like bruxism, exposed to abrasive dust causes attrition. Mechanical wear of the tooth structure is called abrasion. It causes V or C shaped notches in the cervical region of the teeth. Faulty brushing techniques misuse of dental floss and toothpick, pipe-smoking may lead to abrasion. This tooth wear causes the sensitivity of teeth.
When the gum is infected and left untreated, it causes recession. Poor oral hygiene causes the gum to get separated from the tooth thus infect the cementum and lead to sensitivity.
Dental caries is one of the causes of dental sensitivity. Once the tooth is invaded by caries, it leads to destroying the hardest and outermost covering of the tooth, thus exposes the dentine. When the caries progress, it causes severe sensitivity to hot or cold drinks and sweets.
The sensitivity of the teeth can be treated. Depending on the cause of sensitivity, treatment varies. After clinical and radiographic examination, initial caries and wear teeth can be restored. For periodontal disease complete scaling and root planning if required gingival graft surgery is done. If the pulp is irritated, then root canal treatment with crown placement is the option. Maintaining good oral hygiene with proper brushing and flossing is recommended.
Author: Dr. M. Jovitta, Pediatric /Preventive Dental Health Expert,
Jerush Dental & Facial Corrective Centre
Click to read Dr. Jovitta’s other blogs: “Why flossing is important” “Brushing Techniques” “Bad breath or Halitosis” “Smoking and Oral Health”, Tooth replacement options for missing teeth” “Dental pain & Root Canal Procedure”