◼ Teeth consists of 3 layers,
- Outer hard layer made up of hydroxyapatite crystals.
- It is the hardest tissue in the human body.
- It covers the crown part in a tooth structure.
- It is translucent in appearance.
- It is beneath enamel and is made up of 65% hydroxyapatite crystals and 33% organic material and also contains microscopic tubules called as “dentinal tubules”.
- It is made up of living tissue and odontoblast.
- Sensitivity can occur during flossing and brushing.
◼ Dental hypersensitivity or teeth sensitivity is a condition in which pain occurs due to exposure of middle layer of teeth, DENTIN.
◼ When the outer layer enamel wears off, it causes severe pain and discomfort.
◼ Hot and cold food/drinks lead to sharp pain. It may be temporary or chronic problem affecting a single or multiple teeth.
- Vigorous brushing
- Using hard toothbrush
- Trauma that can cause chipping off of teeth structure.
- Excessive intake of acidic food and beverages.
- Habit of night grinding of teeth, called as “bruxism”.
- Hyperacidity causing erosion of teeth.
- Excessive use of mouthwash.
- Gum recession causing exposure of dentin.
- Tooth decay.
- Gum diseases causing accumulation of plaque and calculus.
- Crack in teeth.
- Lodged food results in caries and further causes sensitivity.
- Damage to past restoration.
- • abrasion, • attrition, • erosion and • abfraction cause wearing away of upper layer of teeth causing hypersensitivity.
Sensitivity triggers on having,
- Hot food & drinks.
- Cold food & drinks.
- Sweet food.
- Acidic food.
- Cold water.
- Mild sensitivity can be treated by using desensitizing toothpaste prescribed by a dentist. After several uses it can block the pain associated with sensitivity over a period of time.
- Fluoride application can help to cover the sensitive areas of teeth. It also strengthens enamel and reduce pain. A preventive measures it is.
- In case of severe sensitivity, broken filling or chipped teeth or exposed surface of dentine, it can be restored by using composite filling material or by applying bonding resin to sensitive areas.
- Various conditions causes sensitivity like gum recession which can be treated by gum graft. If tooth root has lost gum tissue, it can be grafted by taking small amount from some other site in mouth. Procedure is quite expensive. Precautions should be taken to avoid such conditions.
- In case of habits like bruxism, night guard is advised.
- Acidic food & beverages should be avoided.
- Toothbrush with soft bristles along with desensitizing toothpaste are asked to use.
- Brush gently and in a circular pattern.
- Use alcohol free mouthwash. Treat medical conditions like hyperacidity/GERD.
- In cases of severe sensitivity with pain where all the above mentioned procedures doesn’t work, root canal treatment is suggested by dentist. In root canal treatment, innermost layer i.e. pulp is removed and it is replaced by artificial material called as gutta percha. It seals the root area of the teeth and covers it’s crown area with a cap. This is considered as the most successful treatment.