Sensitive Matters: All About Tooth Pain

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A sudden jolt of pain while sipping a cold drink or a sharp sting from a gust of cold air can be familiar and unsettling sensations for many. Welcome to the world of tooth sensitivity. But what is it, what causes it, and how can you manage it?

What is Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity, medically known as “dentin hypersensitivity,” is a sharp, sudden pain that often feels like it’s shooting deep into the nerve endings of the teeth. It can be triggered by hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and drinks or even by breathing in cold air.

Why Does It Happen?

Beneath the hard outer layer of our teeth (enamel) is a softer region called dentin. When this dentin becomes exposed, it can lead to sensitivity. Here’s why:

  • Enamel Erosion: Over time, aggressive brushing, acidic foods, and drinks can wear away the enamel, exposing the dentin.
  • Gum Recession: Gums may recede due to age, brushing too hard, or gum disease, leading to exposed tooth roots, which are not protected by enamel.
  • Tooth Grinding: Grinding your teeth can wear down enamel.
  • Recent Dental Procedures: Sometimes, after receiving dental care, like fillings or teeth whitening, teeth may become temporarily sensitive.

Managing Tooth Sensitivity

  • Specialised Toothpaste: There are several toothpastes designed specifically for sensitive teeth. These can help block the pain associated with sensitive teeth.
  • Soft-bristled Toothbrush: Opt for a toothbrush with soft bristles and use gentle strokes while brushing to avoid further enamel erosion or gum recession.
  • Avoid Acidic Foods and Drinks: Limit the consumption of foods and drinks like citrus fruits, wine, and sodas.
  • Consult Your Dentist: If you’re experiencing severe or prolonged tooth sensitivity, it’s essential to see your dentist. They can identify any underlying issues and suggest appropriate treatments.

Tooth sensitivity is more than just a fleeting discomfort—it’s a sign that your teeth are telling you something. At Diamond Dental, we believe in addressing not just the symptom but the root cause. So, the next time that icy drink or hot tea gives you a jolt, know that solutions are available.