OMGGGG !!!!! What a shooting pain was this !!!! For cold and hot and sweet and sour….For everything and on everything i eat…was this pain or sensitivity !!!! My dentist calls this sensitvity and i say this as PAIN….
Had you ever visited your dentist for this reason !!!! Or on least case, had you ever encountered this problem ??? And you doesn’t know whether it is a pain or sensitivity but for a few moment it had banged your head?? And you had no idea why this was happening !!!
This is something called as “Dentin hypersensitivity “. Tooth has only one sensation and that is pain sensation…Any insult that happens to the tooth structure will be elicited as pain. Depending on the level and depth of insult, we categorize it as either pain or sensitivity…
So why this sensitivity happens and what is the reason behind this !!! The outermost covering in the crown of tooth is called enamel and it is devoid of nerve supply thus protects the tooth from any sort of sensation. When this enamel wears off ( causative factors are many – either due to decay or trauma causing enamel to chip out or excessive grinding of tooth or toomuch of abrasion/attrition, or excessive brushing of teeth or receding of gums or gastric esophageal reflux causing acid erosion or bleaching the tooth ) on such case, the underline structure called dentin which contains nerve endings are exposed to the outer environment… Any substances that comes in contact with that particular portion will elicit pain.
This is not bound with the age limit( though elderly people are more prone), anybody can get it and lifestyle is an influential factor as well.
Only way to escape from this sensitivity is to occlude the exposed nerve ending. But how far it could be kept occluded is questionable.
There is no universally accepted gold standard treatment for dentin hypersensitivity which reliably relieves pain for long term.
Depending on the severity, at home and in office methods are used.
Desensitizing toothpastes or mouth wash or chewing gums which contains potassium nitrate/citrate/chloride, strontium chloride/acetate , Calcium carbonate/calcium sodium phosphosilicate, hydroxyapatite are believe to have role in nerve desensitization with various mechanisms.
When the pain is severe, in office methods are implemented… Which includes dental sealants, or restoring the defective portion with the filling materials preferably which has the flouride content or with the use of mouth guard if the problem is due to teeth grinding.
How to prevent tooth sensitivity???
- avoid using tooth abrading toothpastes
- brushing teeth with soft or medium bristles
- gingival recession can be avoided by healthy dietary and proper oral hygiene practices
- devoid of stress
- taking food at proper time
- Limiting consumption of acidic foods and drinks
Tooth sensitivity still can be controlled with our quality of life.