Sensitive teeth is a common problem in Australia. Hypersensitivity or increased sensitivity is caused when the dentine is exposed. The dentine is the inner layer of a tooth that is normally covered by enamel. Consequently, hypersensitivity can be caused by a number of reasons:
– Abrasion lesions due to excessive tooth brushing: This causes the exposure of the roots. Since the roots are not covered by enamel, the dentine will be exposed, thus causing sensitivity to hot and cold.
– Fractured tooth: Sometimes a tooth can be fractured due to excessive occlusal force, tooth wear or because of expansion of filling materials. This fracture line causes exposure of dentine and will result in hypersensitivity.
– Decayed tooth: When the enamel layer of the tooth is decayed, the dentine will be exposed, thus causing sensitive teeth.
– Cracked tooth syndrome: A crack in the tooth will provide a passage between the external environment and the nerve of the tooth. This will result in sensitivity to hot/cold, water and mechanical forces (such as when one is chewing)
It is best to consult your dentist when you start feeling hypersensitivity reactions. Treatments might range from using anti-sensitive toothpaste and oral hygiene instruction to covering the exposed dentine with dental restorative materials.
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