Expert views on health issues that matter

Sensitive teeth - The preventive measures & treatment

SumiDr. Sumedha Nandhakumar

Sensitive teeth

Have you ever wondered.. Why do my teeth hurt .....? 

If your teeth hurt while consuming cold, hot, sweet or very acidic foods or drinks or while breathing in cold air,

then you may have sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity can come & go over time - it is also known as dentin hypersensitivity,

this affects the tooth or exposed root surfaces.

The main reason for this condition is when the enamel that protects our teeth gets thinner or when gum recession occurs

exposing the underlying tooth surface.

What causes sensitivity 
There are many causes of tooth sensitivity 
1) Wornout tooth enamel from using a hard tooth brush or brushing too aggressively 
2) Tooth erosion due to highly acidic foods and beverages 
3) Tooth erosion due to bulimia or gastroesophageal reflux disease 
4) Gum recession that leaves your root surface exposed 

How do you avoid it:
1) To prevent sensitive teeth recurring, brushing twice a day with a soft bristled tooth brush & fluoride toothpaste .
2) Floss daily, avoid vigorous or harsh brushing & highly abrasive toothpastes .
3) If you grind your teeth, ask your dentist for night guard .
4) Limit your intake of acidic foods & drink such as carbonated drink ,citrus fruit wine & yogurt .
5) After drinking or eating on acidic substances drink milk or water to neutralise acidic levels in the mouth. 

Treatment for sensitive teeth 
If you are concerned about your sensitive teeth visit your dentist at the earliest to avoid any further damage.
Depending on the diagnosis your dentist might recommend: 
a) Desensitizing toothpaste 
b) Fluoride application 
c) Covering exposed root surfaces 
d) Root canal therapy in severe sensitive teeth 

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