What causes tooth sensitivity?

Many people develop sensitive teeth after consuming foods or drinks that are either too hot, cold or sweet. In the process, some have resorted to using products from the open market to manage such conditions without seeking professional aice from the dentist.

Teeth become sensitive because of several reasons, and therefore, treatment also depends on the cause of the problem.

While some people use desensitising toothpaste or mouthwash to manage sensitive teeth, it may not solve the problem, especially if it is used without a dentists’ recommendation.

Sensitivity mostly happens when the second layer (dentine) of a tooth has developed decay or is fractured.

Other contributing factors
•Having a tooth cavity, especially near the dentine or within the dentine layer. Because the dentine is a sensitive part of teeth, decay can easily progress to cause sensitivity.
•Poor brushing techniques or using tooth brushes that have hard bristles may erode the outer part of the tooth (enamel), which exposes the dentine to sensitivity.
•Presence of receding gum, which may be due to age or poor oral hygiene practices can also cause sensitive teeth.
•In some cases, the presence of gum is an indication that a person may develop sensitive teeth.
•Accumulation of plaque and calculus. (Calculus is the hard coating on teeth which is usually yellowish. Calculus exposes the roots of the tooth to air, hot or cold foods and rinks.
•Grinding of teeth for long periods of time erodes the outer part (enamel), which exposes the dentine.
•Cracks on the teeth. This makes it easy for air and liquids to pass through the outer layer (enamel) to the inner layer (dentine), leaving the teeth susceptible to sensitivity.
•Consumption of acidic foods and long-term use of certain mouthwashes may also cause teeth to become sensitive.

Treatment may include filling the affected toothteeth and maintaining good oral hygiene. Other treatment options include getting rid of soft tissue infections and composite or crown building of cracked teeth.

It is therefore important to seek aice from a dentist whenever a person develops any abnormal feeling on the teeth.

The writer is a dentist

SOURCE: Daily Monitor


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