Having sensitive teeth can sometimes be painful and uncomfortable. To help you regain your oral health, follow our explanation of the causes of tooth sensitivity, its symptoms, prevention and treatment.
What is tooth sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity or tooth hypersensitivity are violent or not discomfort and intermittent pain affecting the whole dentition. The pain can be felt following mechanical actions linked to brushing or contact with cutlery, but also after thermal actions (taking hot or cold food). It is also felt after chemical actions such as eating too much sugar or drinking acidic drinks.
The symptoms of tooth sensitivity
Painful sensations in the teeth are the main manifestations of tooth sensitivity. This is because poor oral hygiene has damaged the natural shields of dentin such as the gums, enamel, cementum, etc.
This exposes the dentin to various external aggressions causing the painful sensation. In addition, dentinal tubules are formed as well as microscopic hollow canals leading to the nerve. This damage makes the teeth hypersensitive to the slightest friction.
Causes of tooth sensitivity
Sensitive teeth are the result of damage to the natural shields of dentin, the causes of which can be classified into two.
Erosion of the tooth enamel is one of the main causes of tooth hypersensitivity. It is caused by the use of a hard-bristled toothbrush or toothpaste that is too abrasive.
Enamel degradation is also caused by the consumption of acidic beverages such as soft drinks, citrus fruit juices, white wine, etc. followed by disorganised or inappropriate brushing. It is also caused by repeated vomiting due to liver attacks or chronic gastroenteritis.
Gum recession is another cause of tooth sensitivity. As a rule, it occurs with age. However, certain cases or practices can induce it. For example, gum recession is caused by oral diseases such as chronic gingivitis.
It also affects individuals with poor dental hygiene or improper brushing techniques. In addition, dental care such as filling sometimes causes loose fillings which can lead to gum inflammation. Gum inflammation is also a consequence of medications such as calcium channel blockers or neuroleptics.
Sensitive teeth: our advice on how to avoid them or reduce their effects
Tooth hypersensitivity is completely avoidable if you adopt correct oral hygiene. First of all, you should not brush your teeth firmly. When brushing, you should rub each area of the mouth successively and in the same order. This avoids undue stress on the sensitive areas and better cleans the surface of the teeth. Then use a toothpaste with desensitising action with a soft bristle toothbrush. As an alternative to the soft bristle brush, you can opt to use dental floss.
As for preventive measures, do not brush your teeth for half an hour after consuming acidic food or drinks. The use of fluoride gel or mouthwash for sensitive teeth is highly recommended. In addition, do not hesitate to consult your dentist for a professional oral cleaning or oral health education.
Dentin hypersensitivity: the importance of prevention
The use of soft-bristled brushes, limiting the intake of acidic or hot drinks and adopting good brushing techniques can prevent tooth sensitivity. These actions ensure better oral health, but not only that.
They reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, endocrine disorders, premature births and common bruxism problems. Good oral and jaw health also contributes to the proper functioning of the respiratory tract and the immune system.
Care of sensitive teeth: practices and tools
The treatment of sensitive teeth inevitably involves the use of a brush with very soft bristles in order to avoid bleeding and pain as well as the deterioration of enamel. To do this, choose toothbrushes from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). For toothpaste, choose products from Colgate Palmolive Company, such as the new Colgate Total®, which removes bacteria from the gum line. Elmex Sensitive Professional toothpaste also promises to be effective in caring for sensitive teeth. Among other things, consult a practitioner for a suitable treatment such as the Onlay Inlay Core.