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Tooth sensitivity is a very common name for dentin hypersensitivity. If your hot, cold, sweet or sour foods and drink or breathing in cold air, makes your teeth or a tooth sensitive or painful then you have sensitive teeth.

Tooth sensitivity is usually caused by dentin on root areas exposed due to receding gums or periodontal disease. Receding gums are very common and up to four fifths of people have some form of gum recession by the time they reach 65 years of age.

When the root of a tooth becomes exposed it does not have a layer of enamel like the crowns of your teeth. Instead the roots have a very soft covering called cementum, which once lost leaves the dentin of the root exposed. Overzealous brushing or using an abrasive toothpaste can also cause abrasion of the tooth’s enamel surface and expose dentin.

A very acidic diet – for example a diet with a lot of citrus, pickles and soft drinks can cause tooth erosion and dissolve the tooth surface, exposing the dentine.

It is important to tell your Dentist if you have any sensitive teeth so that he or she can examine your mouth and and help you decide on the best treatment.

When teeth are sensitive it can be painful to brush them and if you brush poorly because of pain then there is more risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Pain after hot, cold, sweet or acidic food and drinks can also be a sign of decay with a cavity or hole in the tooth, or the sign of a broken tooth. If this is the case your Dentist will treat you with a filling or other treatment.

You can reduce the chances of getting tooth sensitivity by keeping your mouth as healthy as possible with good oral hygiene to prevent receding gums and periodontal disease.

Brushing and flossing properly as recommended by your Dentist and using a low abrasion toothpaste can help reduce the chance that you will have tooth sensitivity.

A diet that is not acidic also helps prevent tooth sensitivity.

Ignoring your sensitive teeth can lead to other oral health problems, especially if the pain causes you to brush poorly making you vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease.

It is important to tell your Dentist if you are suffering from tooth sensitivity in case the cause is not dentin (root) hypersensitivity and the tooth is sensitive due to a more serious problem.

To treat tooth sensitivity, your Dentist may recommend that you use a low abrasion toothpaste, specially formulated for sensitive teeth – a desensitizing toothpaste.

The toothpastes make the teeth less sensitive if you brush with them twice a day and also contains fluoride to help protect your teeth against decay.

Alternatively, your Dentist may prescribe a brush-on fluoride gel or fluoride rinse that is specially formulated to make your teeth less sensitive and they provide extra protection against decay.

These treatments happen at home when you are brushing your teeth and are inexpensive.

Other treatments for sensitive teeth that your dentist can provide in the dental office are also available. These can include treatments that are painted onto the teeth – such as fluoride varnishes and plastic resins, fillings if a lot of tooth area has been lost and lasers.

If you believe that you may be suffering from tooth sensitivity, contact Wisdom Dental Emergency today and they can assist you with treatment and advice.

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