A recent Pan-European study, sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, found that more young adults are suffering from tooth wear and dentine hypersensitivity. You can read about Dr Edwin Heng’s interview here, where he shared about the kind of demographics and diet choices which may lead to tooth sensitivity.
One of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity towards cold or hot foods or change in temperature is exposed dentin, which is the hardened tissue just beneath the tooth’s enamel that contains microscopic nerve fibers.
The contributing factors to tooth sensitivity range widely from dental decay, toothbrush abrasion, to gum recession. Tooth sensitivity usually is a sign that a part of your tooth is compromised or traumatized, and the exposed nerves will lead to tooth sensitivity. If you have been experiencing tooth sensitivity, consult your dentist to determine the source.
Some home remedies to relieve pain include the following:
- Desensitizing toothpaste
Rub a small amount of desensitizing toothpaste on your fingers or cotton swab on to the sensitive teeth before you go to bed. Your teeth should feel less sensitive within a week. Desensitizing toothpaste contains ingredients which can fill up the channels (also known as tubules) in the dentin.
- Soft bristled toothbrush
Oftentimes, people have the misconception that the harder you brush your teeth, the cleaner they will be. Overzealous brushing will destroy the protective tooth enamel, leading to hypersensitivity. When you brush too hard, you are also brushing into your gum line, which may damage the soft tissue. Choose toothbrushes with soft bristles and brush your teeth with only a small amount of pressure.
- Keep your teeth clean and visit your dentist twice yearly
Plaque accumulates quickly over a short period of time and going without brushing or flossing for a week can result in deterioration of overall dental condition. Plaque produces an acid which can irritate teeth, especially if your teeth are sensitive. Brush your teeth at least twice daily for two minutes each time. Getting into the a habit of flossing in the evening before you go to bed will also help to maintain your oral health.
A visit to the dentist twice yearly will also keep any underlying dental issues that may lead to tooth sensitivity at bay.
If you would like to assess how much you know about tooth sensitivity and learn more about this dental condition, take our quiz here: https://www.specialistdentalgroup.com/quiz-what-do-you-know-about-sensitive-teeth/