You may find that over time certain teeth become painful in reaction to certain stimuli. The problem is not that great, you do not have tooth ache, you can eat and brush and floss without problems, but your teeth are more sensitive than usual. Do not kid yourself; there is a problem, and you should go see a dentist.
Dentine hypersensitivity is the more than usual sensitivity of a tooth to certain stimuli. This is caused by the dentine reacting with the outside world. The dentine covers the dental nerve, and when this becomes exposed, the tooth will become sensitive, as the nerve now reacts directly to outside stimulus. The pain is usually short, sharp jabs in the teeth from the dentine being exposed. Usually this condition occurs on the canines or the molars, rarely affecting the front teeth.
The cause is always exposed dentine, which have open tubular orifices, and these lead directly to the living pulp of the teeth. This condition affects 57% of the general population, and is very common partially because people do not experience constant pain and thus think that they can just live with it, and because treating sensitivity is a complicated thing with little if any success to be expected, and so dental clinics usually do not have plans to treat the problem.
Usually, the short sharp pains flare up when air is blown on the tooth, sudden changes in temperature occur, something touches the tooth, or certain foods, like spicy or hot foods touch the tooth in question. Bitter and acidic foods, as well as sweets can also make the dentine react.
The first thing to do is find out why this dentine is exposed in the first place. It may be the case that something in the diet or lifestyle of the patient is causing the problems, but it may also be caused by dental ills such as gum recession or periodontitis.
The products available to the patient for alleviation of sensitivity either block the fluids in the tooth from moving about (this is what causes the pain to being with), or they simply block the receptors, and thus the information cannot get from the pulp to the pain receptors.
Products that block the movement of fluid usually are fluoride based, and they simply fill the gaps where the dentine is exposed with fluoride which is the main ingredient in tooth enamel. Sometimes other remineralizing agents can be used as well. The point in these treatment types is the remineralization of the tooth enamel, thus blocking off the dentine.
The other type of treatment simply blocks the communication between the pulp and the receptors in the brain. These are usually ingested in pill form.
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