Dental hypersensitivity or “sensitive teeth” takes the form of painful sensation (acute and short-lasting pain) caused by contact between the teeth and certain stimuli (cold, heat, sweets, brushing, etc.).
It can occur in apparently healthy teeth, though there may be some susceptibility when the dentin is in the open due to an enamel disorder (tooth decay) or recession of the edge of the gum (periodontal disease). In both cases, the stimulation of the nerve endings is facilitated, and with this the perception of pain appears.
This sensitivity always takes place in the presence of a stimulus and ceases when the stimulus is removed.
There are different causes of dental hypersensitivity, some of which include:
- Dental caries.
- Poor dental fillings
- Cracks or fissures in the enamel
- Trauma to the teeth
- Gingival recession with exposure of the neck of the tooth
The following stimuli may cause dental hypersensitivity
- Thermal stimuli: very hot or cold drinks or food (for example ice-cream).
- Chemical stimuli: hypersensitivity caused by sweet or acid drinks or food is particularly important.
- Mechanical stimuli: caused by the contact of an object, such as brush, with the tooth.
Use a toothbrush and toothpaste suitable for sensitive teeth, then rinsing the mouth with a mouthwash for sensitive teeth will help prevent this painful sensation.
Visit a dentist when you note your teeth are sensitive, to evaluate the cause of the sensitivity and resolve it.