What is Dentin Hypersensitivity?

Dentin hypersensitivity, more commonly referred to as sensitive teeth, can be defined as short, sharp pains that come from exposed dentin – the layer of tissue found beneath the hard enamel that contains the inner pulp. Individuals with sensitive teeth may find that the pain can be triggered by hot, cold, sour, or sweet beverages or foods, forceful brushing or flossing, or even by cold air.

How can I avoid dentin hypersensitivity?
Excessive consumption of acidic beverages, such as orange juice or cola, can wear down hard enamel and put you at risk for dentin hypersensitivity. Limiting your consumption of acidic foods and beverages can prevent the erosion of hard enamel. Conditions such as bulimia nervosa and acid reflux also can have similar erosive effects on tooth enamel. Abrasion of the enamel from aggressive use of a toothbrush also can lead to dentin hypersensitivity. Notify your dentist if you experience tooth sensitivity. He or she can monitor the condition and can help remedy the sensitivity. To prevent worsening, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush in a circular motion. It will minimize enamel abrasion and thus reduce sensitivity. Using toothpaste containing a desensitizing agent that protects exposed dentin by blocking the tubes connected to nerves can alleviate pain. In-office treatments, such as topical agents or sealants, can be applied by a dentist to help reduce sensitivity. Of course, limiting your intake of acidic foods and beverages is always recommended.


 

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Pegah S. Salami, DMD | www.serenitydentalspasd.com