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Yikes Do you have sensitive teeth?

Updated: Apr 11, 2019

Do you experience pain from sensitive teeth?

A common complaint that I hear from clients is that they experience sensitivity on specific teeth when consuming specific foods that are cool to cold in temperature.  Dentin hypersensitivity could be the cause of this discomfort.

Dentin hypersensitivity is a transient, sharp, quick tooth pain that feels like a quick zing or zap.  It occurs from exposed dentin typically along the gum line where the gum has receded and a defective tooth or pathology cannot be found after examination by your dental professional.

Dental pain and sensitive teeth can also be associated with dental caries, and fractured teeth.

According to an article I recently read in Oral Health Canada Magazine, “an estimated 36% of adults report having sensitive teeth associated with temperature, air or tactile stimuli” (Litkowski, p. 36).

One major concern is that dentin hypersensitivity can lead to neglected oral hygiene and many clients avoiding dental appointments due to discomfort.

Are your teeth hypersensitive?

The dentin on your tooth is likely exposed because your gum tissue is no longer covering the root of your tooth.

There are microscopic open tubes on the exposed surface of the dentin that trigger the main nerve in your tooth when the open tubes are exposed to a trigger. The open tubes have quick moving fluids that travel through them and stimulate the main nerve in the tooth with the short, sharp, pain that you may be familiar with

So, what should you do?

1.Schedule an appointment with your dental professional to confirm that the sensations that you feel on your teeth are in fact dentin hypersensitivity.

2. Consider using a potassium-based toothpaste product to reduce the transmission of nerve impulses.

3. Consider having a desensitizing varnish applied to your teeth to assist with tubule occlusion. The varnish will help form a protective layer over the top of your tubules to block the movement of dentinal fluid and prevent nerve stimulation.

Did you know?

Your natural saliva has calcium and phosphorous to keep your teeth mineralized however systemic conditions that contribute to dry mouth reduce the natural flow of saliva.

Source: Litkowski, L. J. (2018). Oh Canada: Oral Health Canada! Summer: p. 36-37. 

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