What is a sensitive tooth?
Well, sensitive tooth is an oral health condition that is called dentin hypersensitivity. You are known to have sensitive teeth when you feel a quick sharp dental pain when you expose your teeth a cold or hot temperature; usually of beverages. The dentin surface response to the stimuli caused by the temperature of the beverage that you drink. Dentin sensitivity is quite normal and everybody experience it once in a while but if you often experience it every day or every time you drink cold or hot beverage, then it may not be normal and you needed the help of a dentist right away.
The primary reason for having a sensitive tooth is due to receding gums (gingival recession) that exposes root surfaces and loss of smear and centrum layers. You can get receding gums condition as a result of excessive or forceful tooth brushing especially when you use abrasive toothpaste and hard bristle toothbrush. Receding gum may also be a result of gum diseases and other contributory factors may include acid erosion, related to gastroesophageal reflux disease, bulimia or intake of acidic foods and beverages. Dental bleaching may also cause dental hypersensitivity.
You dentine is composed of thousands of micro tubular structure that emanates from the pulp or the center of a tooth and they serve as receptors to the nerves located at the pulp hence, responses to stimuli causes by pain. Most dental experts regard the stimuli as part of a normal reaction of the dentine however; this is true only if there is no inflamed dental pulp thus can be said normal because not all dentine surfaces that are exposed are hypersensitive. There may be some increased in inflammation or irritation to the pulp that requires attention.
Treatment and prevention of sensitive tooth
There is no known or generally approved treatment for sensitive tooth that has long term or permanent effect. There are two ways in which you can alleviate the condition; one is through the help of dental professionals and the second is through effective home remedies. Treatment that is done in dental clinics are known as therapeutic, while the one you do at home usually requires over-the-counter pain relievers and other natural remedies. Over the counter remedies can be applied for mild pains but when it is severe, it requires confinement at dental clinics for monitoring and therapy hence, can never be treated at home. Desensitizing toothpaste is also a known home treatment for sensitive tooth including mouth wash, potassium salts and chewing gums to relieve the pain.
To prevent hypersensitivity of the teeth, you have to prevent its causes hence; you have to prevent gingival recession or gum recession. A good oral hygiene practice and a healthy diet is the most effective way to prevent the condition. You also have to replace toothbrushes that have hard bristle and toothpaste that are abrasive to your gums. Regular brushing and dental floss is a good way to start accompanied by regular visit to your dentist to monitor the condition of your teeth. Besides these, there are no known remedies and prevention for teeth sensitivity.