Dental care

Tooth sensitivity: causes and treatment

Tooth sensitivity: causes and treatment
Published : September 14 , 2020
Latest Update : May 10 , 2021
Dr. Diala Ghalayini Dr. Diala Ghalayini
Dr. Diala Ghalayini is a Conservative (Restorative) Dentistry Specialist, who holds the Jordanian Board in Conservative Dentistry, and the Membership of the... more

Some people can experience an instant, sharp pain when consuming extremely cold or hot foods and beverages, which can make eating delightful treats like ice cream an unenjoyable experience. 

This is down to tooth sensitivity which can be caused by one of the following:

  • Tooth decay (cavities)

  • Fractured or cracked teeth

  • Worn fillings

  • Gum disease

  • Worn tooth enamel

  • Exposed tooth root

  • Receded gum line

In healthy teeth, a layer of a strong, hard structure called enamel covers the part above the gum line, while the roots are covered by a layer called the cementum.

Dentin is the layer of material that lies immediately underneath the enamel of the tooth and one that contains microscopic tubes. When dentin loses its covering and becomes exposed, the tooth becomes sensitive to changes of temperature as well as to sticky and acidic types of food.

 

How do I treat my sensitive teeth?

Treatment depends on the cause of the sensitivity, which is why it’s important to visit your dentist for a check-up. Your dentist will then suggest the most suitable form of treatment.

Potential treatments: 

  • Proper oral hygiene, including a regular cleaning appointment with the dentist

  • Treating cavities and failed restorations

  • Desensitizing gel and fluoride treatment at the dental clinic

  • Treating receded gum through a variety of procedures

  • Root canal, if the sensitivity is severe and persistent, and cannot be treated by any other means 

Speak to your dentist about your daily oral hygiene routine or any concerns you may have relating to your tooth sensitivity.

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