Tooth sensitivity or “dentine hypersensitivity” is a condition that can present as mild, moderate or severe discomfort. This condition arises most commonly when for some or other reason a receded gum exposes an unprotected sensitive part of the tooth. There are a variety of treatments including desensitising toothpastes, fluoride applications, bonded restorations and gum grafts.
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Tooth sensitivity is a common dental problem that can affect people in the short and long term. It is typically the result of dentine tubule exposure. A dentine tubule can be compared to a pore in the skin. These pores contain nerve endings which are easily irritated by cold and acidic substances.
Dentine and it’s tubules is typically covered by gum but if the gum recedes through trauma and /or infection, they can become exposed. Active gum infections can also result in sensitivity as it results in the environment under the gum becoming acidic.
Treatments include desensitizing toothpaste, application of desensitising varnishes in the dental office, restoring ditched out enamel, limiting acid exposure such a soft drinks, gum grafting and patient education to prevent further gum recession and further wearing of the enamel.