Having sensitive teeth: what is it?

dents sensibles

Sensitive teeth are often a sign that parts of the tooth that are normally protected are no longer so well protected. They cause pain or discomfort when in contact with external aggressions. These parts of the tooth that are abnormally exposed are: the dentin and the cementum. However, it is important to know more about this oral problem in order to know how to manage it. 

Here is a guide to help you understand what sensitive teeth are.

Explanation of sensitive teeth

Having sensitive teeth is proof of dental hypersensitivity. But what is tooth sensitivity? It is most often translated by pains and violent discomfort localized on the whole of the dentition. They are very often caused by several types of actions.

Here are the different types of actions:

  • Mechanical actions: they represent the contact with an object or a too vigorous brushing.
  • Thermal actions: they represent the contact with hot or cold food.
  • Chemical actions: they represent the contact with too sweet or vinegar foods.


Here are the different symptoms of sensitive teeth:

  • a sensation of pain from cold air
  • sensitivity to particularly hot or cold foods
  • pain when eating or drinking acidic foods and drinks
  • Pain when cleaning your teeth every day

The different types of sensitive teeth

Cold sensitive teeth

If your teeth are sensitive to cold, a cavity or a gum problem may be the cause. It is for example a cavity, if the enamel of your teeth has been damaged or destroyed by too much acidity. It is an inflammation of the gums if tartar has accumulated in your mouth.

Tooth sensitive to touch


This can mean an infection at the root level. Other signs that accompany your symptom can be for example a pain to the vertical percussion by tapping the triturating face of the tooth. But also a particular sensitivity to heat.

Sensitive devitalized tooth


It is considered abnormal that the devitalized tooth is painful after several months, either the tooth is broken or there are still canals that have been hidden and have not been treated. On the other hand, if the root canal is sensitive when you press on it, a week's pain is considered normal, just take an anti-inflammatory and everything will be fine.


Why are our teeth sensitive to pain ?

The most likely cause of pain-sensitive teeth is poor eating habits. Indeed, the enamel of the teeth is demineralized when it is in contact with acidic substances. These include soda, white wine, tomatoes and citrus fruits. However, there are other reasons.

Here are the reasons why our teeth are sensitive to pain:

  • Tooth grinding: rubbing your teeth together can damage your tooth enamel and expose your dentin which will make your teeth much more easily sensitive to cold, hot but also sweet and salty.
  • A cracked or fractured tooth: biting into food or bumping into others can cause a cracked or fractured tooth. If you feel pain after chewing, pressing or bumping, you should see your dentist. Nerve endings are affected.
  • A defective filling: A defective filling or sealant has the same symptoms as a cavity. If it is not treated, it will fracture. It is therefore important to have a preventive dental examination once a year to make sure that the restorations are still adequate.
  • Pulpitis: Pulpitis is an inflammation of the dental pulp. It increases the intra-pulpal pressure and causes a pulsating pain that follows the rhythm of the heartbeat. It is a particularly intense pain triggered by cold.
  • A wisdom tooth stuck in the gum: A wisdom tooth that is half stuck in the gum traps bacteria. This can lead to cavities and infections. Orthodontics or wisdom tooth extraction is necessary to fix the problem.
  • Orthodontic treatment: Braces cause discomfort and even pain. This discomfort will take a few hours to manifest itself after an appointment with the orthodontist during an adjustment. It will resolve itself after a few days.
  • Sinusitis: the maxillary sinuses, which are located at the top of the cheeks above the roots of the upper molars and premolars, can become sensitive when there is nasal congestion or sinusitis. The pain will stop once the virus is gone but antibiotics are necessary.

Taking care of those sensitive teeth

To take the best care of your sensitive teeth, it is important to develop good oral health habits in your daily life. There are a number of things you should do to help take care of your sensitive teeth.

Here is a list of things you should do to take the best possible care of your sensitive teeth:

  • Have good oral hygiene: brushing and flossing your teeth on a very regular basis can help prevent dental conditions that cause tooth sensitivity such as gum recession.
  • Not brushing vigorously or often: Brushing your teeth vigorously or more frequently than recommended leads to gum recession and enamel loss. This causes dentin exposure and tooth sensitivity.
  • Use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth: Sensitivity toothpastes that are used in a twice daily brushing regimen provide you with daily relief from the pain of tooth sensitivity.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush: It is recommended that you use a soft toothbrush because it will help reduce the effects of brushing too vigorously but also help protect your tooth enamel.

 
You can use the Y-Brush toothbrush. It is a toothbrush that includes different sonic vibration modes depending on your dental sensitivity.

Pain relief for sensitive teeth

You can relieve the painful symptoms of tooth sensitivity. To do so, it is important to not only make an appointment with a dentist, but also to pay attention to a number of things that will help you take care of your sensitive teeth and prevent sensitive teeth.

Here are all the tips to relieve the pain of sensitive teeth:

  • Stop tooth whitening: Tooth whitening done too regularly will thin your enamel and expose the dentin which will cause you tooth pain. It is therefore important not to whiten your teeth while the pain is still present.
  • Reduce the presence of acids on your teeth: To do this, it is effective to consume sodas, citrus juices and wine in moderation. You should drink liquids through a straw to protect your teeth. You should then swallow a glass of water.
  • Brush your teeth gently: You must brush from the gum to the tooth, in other words from pink to white, each area of the mouth one after the other, without forgetting the inner side. The toothbrush should have a small head to reach the hard-to-reach areas more easily.

Having a suitable treatment for sensitive teeth

It is particularly important to choose a toothpaste that is adapted to your oral problem. For example, you can use toothpastes for sensitive teeth that are based on strontium chloride or potassium salts. These are toothpastes that work by blocking the holes on the surface of the dentin. You can complement this treatment for sensitive teeth with a mouthwash enriched with mineral salts that promote the mineralization of the exposed dentin. If the problem persists, you can consult a dentist, who will propose solutions that consist of filling the micro-holes on the dentin or else propose a devitalization of the diseased tooth or a gingival graft depending on the problem.

We hope this guide has helped you understand what sensitive teeth are. We hope that you have also understood the characteristics of sensitive teeth. Some people are more sensitive to pain than others if they are in all the situations listed. Taking care of your teeth is an important step before using the tips and treatments listed.

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