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What Causes Tooth Sensitivity

Posted Dec 24 2008 3:12pm


Everyone has experienced a  sensitive  tooth. Actually, some level of sensitivity is considered normal since teeth are enervated with pain nerves. However, when teeth become abnormally sensitive, a cause is usually detected. The most obvious source is dental  decay, which destroys enamel  and dentin, causing pain when the irritants produced are liberated, reaching the nearby  pulp nerves. Obviously, the treatment here is to remove the decay and replace it with a  restoration  (filling). It should be stressed that teethsince this disease destroys the supporting tissue surrounding the teeth, which again exposes the roots. Another source of sensitivity occurs when enamel (which contains no nerves) is lost thereby exposing the sensitive dentin below, where nerve endings are present. Enamel can be lost from excessive  bruxing  (grinding), or from a  diet too rich in acids  such as carbonated beverages and most citrus fruit drinks, which dissolve enamel. What measures can you take if you suffer experience excessive sensitivity?
are often sensitive after being restored, since the process of removing the bacterial decay, and placing a filling can temporarily  irritate the pulp. Up to several weeks can sometimes be

What can you do if you have 
excessive sensitivity? Brush and 
floss with a technique acceptable to 
your dentist or hygienist, and have 
your teeth treated for any decay 
and\or gum disease.

Brush and floss with a technique  acceptable  to your dentist or hygienist, and have your teeth treated for any decay and/or gum disease. Should   sensitivity continue your dentist can
required to let the tooth  heal  itself. Another extremely common cause is recession of the gingiva or gums. Brushing too vigorously, and improperly will lead to the eventual loss of some gingiva and\or enamel, thereby exposing the root  where nerves are again irritated; cold air or liquids will irritate these areas. This type of sensitivity is becoming more common as people become more conscious of there dental health. You should only brush with a toothbrush made of soft bristles.  Periodontitis  (gum disease) is an extremely common source of sensitivity since thisapply desensitizing agents such as  fluoride  as well as other products which can help to decrease sensitivity. A toothpaste made to combat sensitivity, (Sensodyne, Prevident),  and home fluoride rinses, (ACT or Flourigard), can help to some degree. Should these measures prove ineffective and the offending tooth remains intolerable, your dentist may perform root desensitization via an applied medication or root sealant to almost instantaneously relieve the problem. The only stipulations are that there is a minimal cost and the treatment may need to be redone in 6-12 months if and when it begins to recur. If everything else fails, in the worst case scenerio, a  root canal treatment  (removal of pulp nerves) which would render the tooth completely  insensitive  to any hot or cold  stimulus could be performed, if absolutely necessary.If you presently suffer from sensitive teeth, only your dentist can evaluate your situation and provide a treatment specific to your needs.


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