Tooth pain is, well, a pain. Dentin hypersensitivity is one of the most common causes of oral discomfort, affecting nearly 60 percent of patients between the ages of 20 and 40. For people with gum disease, that number can range from 72 to almost 100 percent of patients. This unpleasant condition can make it hard to enjoy a cold cone of ice cream or a hot cup of coffee, but food isn’t the only trigger. Many things can activate your dentin pain, from temperature to acidity or even texture. Living with dentin sensitivity can make it feel like you’re never really free from tooth sensitivity. So why not start getting treatment?
The Source Of Your Discomfort
To find the solution for your dentin hypersensitivity pain, the first step is to learn about the cause. To begin with, you might wonder what exactly dentin is and why it’s causing your teeth so much trouble. In short, dentin is the part of the tooth beneath the enamel. Its primary function is to support tooth enamel and transmit impulses and sensations through your teeth. Its structure contains microscopic hollow tubes, which, when exposed, make it even more sensitive to hot, cold, acidic, or sticky foods. Cervical dentin hypersensitivity is located at or near the gum line.
Exposed dentin is often a result of gum disease or tooth decay. When your dentin is irritated, it can cause a short, sharp pain as it’s stimulated. While other conditions such as gingivitis or damage can also cause sore teeth, a lack of protective enamel to cover dentin is common in adults.
Managing Your Sensitive Teeth
Dentin hypersensitivity treatments at home are common. The first and most common line of defense in treating dentin hypersensitivity is fluoride. Toothpaste containing potassium salts and fluoride work well in treating oversensitive teeth through nerve desensitization. Reducing nerve sensitivity will help ease painful symptoms fast. However, there are drawbacks to this type of treatment. Toothpaste treatments rarely result in immediate relief and require frequent, long-term application to achieve the best results. For people with acute discomfort, that might not be enough.
In contrast, iontophoresis for dentin hypersensitivity can achieve immediate results. First used in the 1960s, iontophoresis has continued to achieve excellent results in staunching tooth sensitivity. For those with severe dentin hypersensitivity, veneers can also be a good option. These custom coverings for your teeth serve a similar function to tooth enamel, providing a barrier between dentin and painful stimuli to cut down on tooth pain.
In some cases, patients may develop dentin hypersensitivity in a dental implant. In these cases, the ache in an implanted tooth is often the result of exposed dentin in a nearby tooth. Talk to your dentist right away if you’re experiencing sensitivity in your tooth implant.
One way to improve your dentin hypersensitivity is through proper hygiene. Good dental care can dramatically reduce your risk of developing tooth pain, as protecting your enamel avoids exposing dentin in the first place. Regular dental cleanings can help stop your tooth sensitivity in its tracks and identify any other oral problems before they become more serious. If you’re struggling with sensitive teeth, don’t wait any longer. We at Pinnacle Dental Associates are here to help.