What is tooth sensitivity?
Dental hypersensitivity or hypersensitive teeth is a disorder that causes acute, brief and transient pain triggered by stimuli such as cold or heat. It usually occurs when the sensitive tooth comes into contact with hot or cold food or drinks, but it can also occur if you have something that is very sweet or very sour.
Because the pain is triggered by a stimulus, when it is removed the pain disappears completely in a few moments.
What are the causes of tooth sensitivity?
Dental hypersensitivity is caused by the enamel wearing away and exposing the dentin underneath. Dental hypersensitivity can occur as a result of:
Can dental sensitivity be prevented?
The recommended measures to prevent tooth sensitivity are:
- avoiding the consumption of highly acidic food or drink
- brushing your teeth correctly using low-impact toothpaste
- if you eat something acidic, wait an hour before you brush your teeth
Sometimes, sensitive teeth cannot be avoided. If you are over 40, your gums start to retreat naturally, exposing the root of your teeth which lack enamel, which in turn causes tooth sensitivity.
How are sensitive teeth treated?
The first line of treatment against hypersensitivity is using special toothpaste for sensitive teeth and changing the way you brush to make sure it doesn’t damage the enamel on your teeth.
If this does not work, there are a number of treatments a dentist can provide, including:
- applying a layer of enamel on the surface of the tooth
- if the pain is too intense, killing the nerve.