Do you feel a sudden pain or numbness if you take a bite of ice-cream or sip a hot coffee cup? If you’ve experienced this numbness, you’re not the only one. While this can be a prominent sign of a cavity, it can also be an underlying condition due to tooth sensitivity.
Tooth sensitivity or dentin hypersensitivity is a condition that feels like extreme pain or discomfort in teeth mostly triggered by stimuli, extreme temperature fluctuations. The irritation affects the nerves of the tooth leading to discomfort. This kind of discomfort may also be caused due to the consumption of acidic foods or beverages.
Enamel or cementum damage makes the tooth prone to sensitivity because of tooth erosion, tooth trauma or tooth decay. The dentin’s tubules may be the first to experience the irritation of nerves, thereby experiencing severe pain.
Most people are born with thin enamel. Hence, they have sensitive teeth. The outer layer of teeth, enamel protects the teeth. The enamel of the teeth can be damaged due to various reasons like
- Brushing roughly
- Grinding teeth regularly at night
- Regularly consuming acidic foods and beverages
Other conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux may lead to teeth damage after a certain time. GERD leads to vomiting which may damage the enamel.
Tooth decay, chipped or broken teeth can also make the dentin of tooth exposed to the cavity, thereby increasing the chances of sensitivity.
Gum recession on certain tooth sections can also be the leading cause of teeth sensitivity.
However, tooth sensitivity caused due to bleaching, crowns or fillings will go away in a few days and is nothing to be concerned about.
Pain and discomfort are the primary sign of people suffering from sensitive teeth. The roots of the teeth are affected which is why the pain worsens. However, the triggers need to be avoided to prevent the pain from coming back.
The common triggers that may increase sensitivity around your teeth include the following
- Hot or cold food and beverages
- Sweet or acidic food and beverages
- Cold air
- Brushing or flossing teeth
- Alcohol-based mouth rinses
- Coldwater, leading to dental damage
If you’re experiencing the symptoms of tooth sensitivity, make sure to visit a dentist. The over-the-counter dental treatments can be of great help for treating this condition. It would help if you were careful of the mouthwash and toothpaste you use. It is better to use ones with desensitizing ingredients that may block the discomfort. Also, using soft brushes and brushing gently can be of help for getting rid of the discomfort.