Dentin Hypersensitivity | Causes | Symptoms | Treatments

Dentin Hypersensitivity | Causes | Symptoms | Treatments

Experiencing persistent tooth pain? Wondering why your teeth ache? Shockingly, 25–30% of adults endure dental hypersensitivity. The commonality might surprise you, but what’s more startling is the lack of awareness about its root causes and effective treatments. This article explains everything you need to know about dentin hypersensitivity: the symptoms, underlying reasons, and effective solutions to find relief.

What is Dentin Hypersensitivity?

Dentin hypersensitivity, or tooth sensitivity, is when your teeth feel pain or discomfort in response to specific triggers like hot, cold, sweet, or acidic substances. This sensitivity arises when the protective layers of enamel or gums diminish, exposing the inner dentin of the tooth. The discomfort can range from mild twinges to sharp, shooting pain.

Dentin Hypersensitivity Causes

Tooth sensitivity is very common as the causes for this issue are many different daily practices. To avoid such actions, it’s important for you to know what can lead to dentin hypersensitivity.

Rough Brushing

Brushing too hard with a tough toothbrush can strip away the protective enamel, potentially causing damage to the gums and dentin. This exposes the nerves in the teeth, making them more sensitive and painful. Many adults experience hypersensitivity due to rough brushing, often as a result of hard brushes and hurried brushing habits. 

Poor Diet

Regularly consuming acidic foods and drinks lowers the pH level in the mouth, causing enamel erosion. As the enamel becomes thinner, the sensitive dentin is more exposed, leading to increased tooth sensitivity to temperature as well as cold and warm foods.

Teeth Grinding

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can gradually wear down enamel. This constant abrasion exposes the dentin and its nerve endings, making teeth more sensitive to hot, cold, or pressure stimuli.

Damaged Teeth

Damaged teeth are a significant cause of dentin hypersensitivity. Cracks, fractures, or decay compromise the tooth’s protective layers, exposing the sensitive dentin. This exposure contributes to increased tooth sensitivity, often resulting in discomfort and pain.

Bad Oral Health

Neglecting oral hygiene is another cause that contributes to tooth sensitivity. When we skip brushing and flossing, plaque, a mix of bacteria and debris, builds up on our teeth. This plaque teaming up with bacteria can lead to enamel erosion and gum issues. As a result, the dentin gets exposed, causing tooth sensitivity.

Oral Products

Teeth whiteners, with their active ingredient peroxide, can sometimes seep through the enamel and irritate the tooth nerve, causing sensitivity. Similarly, certain mouthwashes containing alcohol or strong antimicrobial agents may lead to irritation and sensitivity, particularly when used excessively. This is why dentists always recommend checking in with them before using any product, as it can cause dentin hypersensitivity.

Dentin Hypersensitivity Symptoms

Discovering signs of dentin hypersensitivity is the key to taking care of your teeth. Here are the signs that can help you identify this condition:

  • Temperature Sensitivity: Individuals with dentin hypersensitivity often experience sharp pain during the intake of hot or cold foods and beverages. This heightened sensitivity to temperature variations is a prominent symptom that you should be aware of. 
  • Sweet and Acidic Foods Discomfort: Another common symptom is discomfort while eating sweet or acidic foods. This sensitivity can lead to unpleasant sensations, signaling dentin hypersensitivity.
  • Cold Air Inhalation Pain: Exposure to cold air can trigger momentary pain in individuals with dentin hypersensitivity. This symptom will be more noticeable during colder seasons.
  • Discomfort During Oral Hygiene Practices: Dentin hypersensitivity can manifest as discomfort during routine oral hygiene practices, such as brushing or flossing.
  • Radiating Pain from Specific Teeth: Dentin hypersensitivity may lead to pain spreading from particular teeth, especially when pressure is applied during activities like chewing or brushing. This type of pain is localized, and individuals experiencing it can pinpoint the specific areas where tooth sensitivity is most noticeable.
  • Gum Sensitivity: Dentin hypersensitivity often presents as tenderness or discomfort around the gumline. In individuals with this condition, the gums will show increased sensitivity to touch or pressure.

It is necessary to see a dentist for treatment plans if you do have these symptoms.

Dentin Hypersensitivity Treatment

Addressing tooth sensitivity involves specific treatments to relieve and improve oral health. Let’s look at the four effective approaches for managing dentin hypersensitivity:

Desensitizing Tooth Paste

Desensitizing toothpaste is a remedy designed to ease tooth sensitivity. Packed with unique compounds, it blocks nerve signals and lessens sensitivity. Regular use establishes a protective shield over exposed dentin, reducing the teeth’s responsiveness to triggers such as hot or cold temperatures. 

Dental Bonding

This orthodontic treatment is a painless procedure where a tooth-colored resin is applied to the sensitive tooth. This resin bonds with the tooth surface, covering exposed dentin and reducing sensitivity. The procedure involves shaping and polishing the resin to match the natural tooth, offering both cosmetic improvement and relief from hypersensitivity.

Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are a treatment for dentin hypersensitivity caused by cavities or decay. The dentist removes the decayed portion of the tooth and heals the cavity with a dental material called composite resin or amalgam. This not only restores the tooth’s structure but also addresses sensitivity by sealing off the exposed dentin, preventing further discomfort.

Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is a more involved treatment for severe dentin hypersensitivity. It is employed when the sensitivity is due to nerve damage or infection. The dentist removes the damaged nerve tissue, cleans the tooth’s interior, and seals it. This not only reduces sensitivity but also saves the tooth from extraction, ensuring long-term relief and functionality.

After undergoing these treatments, you still have to embrace dentin hypersensitivity self-care practices, including maintaining good oral health and gentle brushing. These preventive measures will ensure that you don’t get hypersensitivity again.

Dr.Arthur Yeh and Associates -Dental Experts In Montclair, NJ

If you are looking for dentists in Montclair, NJ, to help with your hypersensitivity problem, then Dr.Arthur Yeh and Associates would be the ideal place to go for comfortable care. 

Our team blends professionalism with friendliness, creating a welcoming atmosphere. Utilizing modern technology, we ensure that everyone gets precise diagnostics and pain-free treatment. What sets us apart is our commitment to personalized care, crafting effective solutions that align with your budget and will surely make your dental experience both warm and affordable.

Ready to experience comfortable and personalized dental care? Schedule your appointment today for a friendly approach to hypersensitivity solutions.