What is Dentin Hypersensitivity?
Dentists are facing an increasing number of cases concerning dentin hypersensitivity, which is reported in a significant percentage of the general population. The prevalence of dentin hypersensitivity is increasing in the western world and Sacramento, California, among adults and children.
Dentin hypersensitivity (DH) is the most frequently reported unpleasant oral sensation. It is defined as the subjective feeling of pain or discomfort in the tooth or teeth provoked by stimuli that do not usually cause pain. Some people with DH feel a shooting, piercing, or tingling pain, while others feel an ache.
The etiology of DH is multifactorial. It has been associated with gingival recession, periodontal disease, loss of enamel, occlusal trauma, and/or improper restorative procedures. However, the exact mechanism remains unclear.
What are the Symptoms of Dentin Hypersensitivity?
If you have ever experienced a sudden, sharp jolt of pain while eating or drinking something cold, hot, or sweet, you may be one of the millions who suffer from dentin hypersensitivity. This condition is caused when the tooth enamel wears down, and the underlying layer of dentin becomes exposed. Here are some signs you should be looking out for:
- Tooth sensitivity to temperature
- Uncomfortable reactions to hot foods and beverages
- Cold foods and drinks cause pain or discomfort
- Pain when using dental floss or a toothbrush
- Sensitivity to acids and sweets
Typical triggers include: thermal (hot or cold food and beverages), chemical (acidic or sour foods), or tactile (hard food)
What Causes Dentin Hypersensitivity?
The tooth structure consists of two layers: enamel and dentin. Enamel protects the outer layer of the tooth from damage by food particles and bacteria. Dentin covers this protective layer and provides strength and support to the teeth. If any part of either of those layers becomes damaged, it will lead to sensitivity. A variety of factors can cause dentin hypersensitivity. These include:
Gum recession – When gum tissue recedes away from the tooth surface, it exposes more of the sensitive inner layer of the tooth. Gum recession occurs naturally over time but can also occur due to injury or infection.
Periodontal disease – Periodontal disease affects the soft tissues surrounding your teeth. In severe cases, the bone around the roots of your teeth may become infected. As a result, the root surfaces become rough and porous, exposing the sensitive dentin beneath.
Tooth decay – Decay on the surface of the tooth causes the enamel to wear away. Once the enamel is gone, the dentin underneath becomes exposed.
Trauma – Dentinal tubules can be damaged if they are hit hard enough. For example, a blow to the face could break off pieces of enamel and expose the dentin below.
Improper restoration – Restorations such as crowns and fillings can cover the dentin, making it difficult to detect.
3 Theories for Dentin Sensitivity:
Trauma To Teeth
Sensitivity is caused by teeth trauma or oral habits, such as chewing or biting hard objects.
Poor Dental Care
Sensitivity may occur due to poor dental care and poor oral hygiene caused by an acidic environment in the mouth. This makes the teeth more vulnerable to trauma.
Sensitivity may also be genetic or inherited. No single theory of dentin hypersensitivity can offer a definitive answer regarding how or why it occurs.
Because of this, many experts believe there must be a combination of factors leading to sensitivity for it to develop:
How Do You Fix Dentin Hypersensitivity?
There are several ways to treat dental sensitivity. One method involves using over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as numbing gels, sprays, rinses, and toothpaste. Another option is to visit a dentist who specializes in treating sensitive teeth.
Although DH can occur in primary or permanent teeth, it tends to affect the molars and premolars more often than other teeth.
Desensitizing Therapy At Home
Home remedies for sensitive teeth that can help relieve your pain and may give you some relief include:
- Remineralization Gel
- Desensitizing Toothpaste
- Saltwater Rinse
- Hydrogen Peroxide Mouthwash
- Sensitivity Mouthwash
- Soft Bristle Toothbrush
Dentist Office Desensitization Treatment
Sometimes, you need the aid of your dental professional to de-sensitize your teeth, so they don’t hurt anymore. Applying a thin layer of fluoridated gel or bonding resin to the sensitive area to strengthen your enamel can make your teeth feel stronger and prevent them from hurting. Local anesthesia may be used.
If your tooth root is missing gum tissue, a small piece of gum tissue may be removed from another part of your mouth and grafted onto the affected area. This can help protect exposed roots and reduce pain.
Root Canal Treatment
If sensitive teeth cause severe pain and other treatments aren’t working, your dentist may suggest a root canal. A root canal is a dental procedure that eliminates problems within the tooth’s soft core. Although this sounds like a major operation, it’s one of the most successful techniques for eliminating tooth sensitivity. In addition, it can also help prevent future issues with the tooth.
Is Dentin Hypersensitivity Serious?
Dentin hypersensitivity itself is not severe, but it can cause related problems. The intense pain associated with DH may lead to anxiety, depression, insomnia, and other issues that affect a person’s quality of life. A common suggestion for DH is to wear removable dental appliances like retainers or night guards, which may prevent further pain and protect against further injury.
A visit to the dentist is crucial for people with DH because they are at risk for damage to the enamel and dentin of the tooth.
How long does dentin sensitivity last?
Dentin hypersensitivity generally lasts 3 to 6 months or longer in less severe cases. Some adults may experience hypersensitivity for prolonged periods. You can use over-the-counter products such as toothpaste, and mouthwashes, to relieve symptoms. If you are experiencing severe pain, see a dentist immediately.
Prolonged Dental Treatment in the Case of Persistent Dentin Hypersensitivity
If you have persistent symptoms, it is crucial to be evaluated by a specialist. In most cases, the solution can be found in conservative treatment that aims to relieve your symptoms without requiring surgery or a more invasive procedure. For example, suppose you have severe pain in your tooth when eating hard foods, and your dentist has tried several methods with no success. They may suggest scaling and root planning with an acid agent in that case. It’s also important to pay attention to what foods you eat. The best way to avoid the problem is to avoid excessively hard foods and carbonated sodas.
Evaluation of the efficacy of dentin hypersensitivity treatments
Research has been done on dentin hypersensitivity in persons 16 to 65. Glutaraldehyde/HEMA, glass ionomer cement, and laser presented significant immediate effects (until seven days). A medium-term impact was found in stannous fluoride and hydroxyapatite. Longer-term reductions were observed in potassium nitrate, arginine, glutaraldehyde/HEMA, and hydroxyapatite.
What is the best pain reliever for a toothache?
The most important thing is not to put pressure on the tooth. The best pain reliever for toothache is usually ibuprofen, but it should be administered with care. Ibuprofen’s side effects can include stomach upset, inability to urinate, and low blood pressure if you take too much of the drug. Advil, Motrin, and Aleve are some popular alternatives to ibuprofen that are less likely to cause these side effects. If the pain continues, see your dentist.
How Do You Know If The Tooth Is Infected?
If you’re experiencing severe pain related to a tooth, it may be time to visit your dentist. Your dentist will know if the pain is related to an infection or if it could be from DH. For the dentist to diagnose DH, they will need to examine your teeth and gum tissue closely for signs of trauma or decay. Suppose the dentist determines that there are no signs of trauma or decay. In that case, they’ll provide you with a diagnosis and treatment plan based on this diagnosis.
Symptoms related to a tooth infection:
- Severe, constant, throbbing toothache can spread to the jaw bone, neck, or ear.
- Pain or discomfort with hot or cold temperatures.
- Pain or discomfort with the pressure or chewing or biting
- Swelling in the face, cheek, or throat may cause difficulty breathing or swallowing.
When To See A Dentist If You Suspect You Have Dentin Hypersensitivity (DH)?
Dentin hypersensitivity is a common dental condition associated with pain, inflammation, and bleeding. Many treatments exist to help manage the pain, including topical anesthetics, drugs, and cold pressor treatments. It is crucial to work with a dentist to manage this condition properly.
Dentin hypersensitivity is a common dental condition caused by the tooth’s sensitive and inflamed dentin layer. This condition can be challenging to manage without proper treatment. It is vital to work with a dentist to manage this condition properly.
If you are experiencing pain in your mouth that is not like the usual pain of eating something hot or cold, it is best to see a dentist right away. This is because the pain may be due to hypersensitivity rather than a toothache. If you haven’t had any health issues before, it would be best to visit the dentist if your symptoms last longer than one week.
At Soft Touch in Sacramento, we’re available to help diagnose your particular situation and answer any questions you have about dentin hypersensitivity. You can make an appointment online or give us a call at 916-424-1703.