Causes Of Shocking Sensation On The Teeth

If you have ever felt pain after a spoonful of hot soup or a gulp of cold water, then you might be experiencing some form of tooth sensitivity.  

Read this blog post to the end to get an insight into what teeth sensitivity is and ways to combat it

What Do They Call Teeth Sensitivity?

Teeth sensitivity, also known as dentin hypersensitivity, is a condition that occurs when the inner layer; dentin of the tooth gets exposed. It is pain or discomfort in the teeth in response to hot or cold substances.

It can be acute or chronic, it can affect all teeth, several teeth or a single tooth of an individual. 

How To Know That You Have Teeth Sensitivity

The symptoms of teeth sensitivity could range from mild to moderate to severe. The most common triggers are;

● Sweet food and drinks

● Acidic food and drinks 

● Hot food and drinks

● Cold food and drinks

● Cold air

● Brushing or flossing teeth

● Alcohol-based mouth rinse etc.

Spontaneous tooth pain that occurs without any visible cause, tooth sensitivity localised to one tooth, sharper pain instead of milder pain, staining on the surface of your teeth and pain when chewing should be looked out for.

What Causes Teeth Sensitivity

Many factors can lead to the development of sensitive teeth.

Some people naturally have thinner Enamel (an outer protective coat of the teeth) than others. While in some others, the Enamel could be worn down due to;

● Brushing too hard

● Teeth grinding while asleep

● Gum disease or gum recession 

● Cracked tooth, broken tooth or tooth decay

● Consuming acidic substances regularly 

● Using a hard-bristled toothbrush 

● Chewing ice

● Teeth whitening 

● Cold weather

● Sinus infection 

● Recent dental work

● Pregnancy

● Eating or digestive disorder

● Stress etc 

Over time, brushing too hard can wear down Enamel and cause the dentin to be exposed. It also causes gum recession, where your gum tissue pulls away from your teeth.

Broken or chipped teeth may fill with bacteria from plaque and enter your pulp causing teeth sensitivity or inflammation. 

Grinding or clenching your teeth may wear down your enamel and expose underlying dentin causing teeth sensitivity. 

Inflamed and sore gum tissue can cause teeth sensitivity because of loss of supporting ligament, which exposes the surface of the root that leads directly to the nerve of the teeth.

Some teeth whitening procedures wear away the enamel of the teeth exposing the dentin and leading to teeth sensitivity. 

How The Dentist Find Out That You Have Teeth Sensitivity

If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, book a session with your dentist. They will assess your oral health and check for potential problems like loose fillings, recessed gum or cavities that could be causing teeth sensitivity. 

The dentist will clean your teeth and do a visual examination. They may also use dental instruments to check for sensitivity in your teeth. X-rays can be carried out to rule out causes like cavities.

How To Treat Teeth Sensitivity

Treatment depends on the degree of sensitivity. 

For mild sensitivity, you can try over-the-counter dental treatments.

Go for toothpaste that is made specifically for sensitive teeth. This toothpaste won’t contain any irritating components and may have desensitising ingredients that help block the discomfort travelling to nerves present in your teeth.

Choose an alcohol-free mouthwash as it will be less irritating to sensitive teeth. 

Make use of a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush your teeth more gently using the appropriate brushing technique.

Dental bonding and sealers can be applied to cover exposed roots. 

If all these listed above still don’t help, then talk to your dentist about toothpaste and mouthwash to use. They may also recommend fluoride gel or prescription-grade desensitising agents. These can help protect your teeth and strengthen your enamel. 

For medical conditions like receding gum,  brush and floss more gently and maintain good oral health. If there is intense teeth sensitivity due to severe gum recession, your dentist may recommend you do gum grafting. Gum grafting is taking tissues from other parts of your oral cavity like the palate and placing it over the root of your teeth.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can be treated with acid reducers.

Teeth grinding can be prevented with a mouthguard or by consciously training yourself. Reducing caffeine and stress before bedtime can also help with teeth grinding. 

It is important not to shy away from dental care due to tooth pain. Ignoring your teeth can make things worse.

Brush and floss at least twice a day to help keep your smile bright and pain-free.

See a dentist at least twice a year.

Avoid those things that can cause or aggravate teeth sensitivity!