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Tooth Sensitivity: Treatment, Procedure, Cost And Side Effects

What is Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity is a common term used for dentin hypersensitivity or dental sensitivity, which is the internal part of teeth. Dental or tooth sensitivity could also be defined as an acute and transitory pain due to hot, cold, sweet or acidic foods. In case If tooth sensitivity is not properly treated then it could trigger the onset of oral disease including periodontitis, gingivitis, and caries.

Over years it has been noted that due to an excessive consumption of junk or acidogenic food and beverages, tooth sensitivity becomes common in young people. Approximately 1 out of 7 adults are affected by it.

What causes Tooth Sensitivity?

Dentin - contains thousands of dentinal tubules which connect tooth external part to nerves ending, is protected by tooth enamel. When tooth loses its protection from gum, which leads to pain and sensitivity of tooth. Dental sensitivity could be related to patients daily lifestyle and oral hygiene habits:

  1. Excessive chewing force.
  2. Surgery or periodontal treatment.
  3. Presence of bacteria in mouth.
  4. Stomach disorders or psychological disorders that cause an acidic oral environment.
  5. It could also be caused by an anatomical abnormality in which dentins are exposed.
  6. Dental treatments caused by a gingival recession.

What is the treatment of Tooth Sensitivity?

Pain from tooth sensitivity due to very hot or very cold, sweet or acidic foods, breathing cold air, brushing etc is easily identifiable. Pain could be intense, short duration and could happen in one or more teeth. When it comes to tooth sensitivity, an adequate treatment is required along with following preventive measures such as :

  1. Avoid acidic food and beverages and follow certain dietary habits.
  2. When it comes to oral hygiene an adequate brushing technique should be followed.
  3. Desensitizing agents could also be used.
  4. Use of non abrasive brush is a must.
  5. When it comes to home treatment of tooth sensitivity. Following measures such as :
  6. Dental products which contains potassium salts could be used for home treatment.
  7. These products heals the pulp through exposed dentinal tubules.
  8. Sometime products containing potassium salt also have fluorides, which can partially block dentinal tubules.

What are the symptoms of Tooth Sensitivity?

Enamel or cementum of the teeth could be damaged by tooth decay, tooth trauma and erosion of tooth. Which cause dentinal tubules exposed and causes discomfort or pain in tooth. Apart from that inflamed or sore gums, development of plaque, tooth whitening products and decay near gum line could be the reason for tooth sensitivity. While common symptoms of tooth sensitivity could be :

  1. Bad breath.
  2. Gums recession.
  3. Discharge of pus from tooth.
  4. Inflammation and swelling of gums.
  5. Alcohol-based mouth rinses.
  6. Brushing or flossing teeth.
  7. Acidic foods or beverages.

Is it possible to reverse Tooth Sensitivity?

Yes, tooth sensitivity can be reversed by regular dental checkups, where the dentist will examine your mouth. Apart from that tooth sensitivity can be healed and reversed naturally by following few simple steps, which are :

  1. Tooth sensitivity could be reversed by developing a new oral care regime such as oil pulling technique. Which is like swishing sesame, sunflower or coconut oil for about 10-20 minutes in the mouth. It helps to reduce plaque buildup.
  2. Many dentists believe that oil pulling has antiseptic and moisturizing capabilities. It also reduces plaque and gingivitis in one months time.
  3. Aware of pH levels in foods and beverages is necessary. Imbalance in pH levels creates an environment for bacteria to thrive.
  4. Consumption of too much coffee creates an imbalance of pH levels. In such cases, you can use green tea as an alternative to sugar-rich coffees.
  5. Supplements and vitamins should be added to the diet of people who are looking to reverse tooth sensitivity.
  6. One should eat foods with natural probiotics and reduce sugar intake in your diet.

What happens if you get Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity is a condition in which a person suffers a lot of pain and sensitivity in his/her teeth they try to consume anything hot or cold. The sensitivity can occur in a tooth or several teeth at a time. It is a common dental problem which can be acute or chronic. The pain usually occurs in the roots of the affected teeth. If you feel severe pain in your teeth while eating or drinking something hot or cold, you must see a doctor without any delay. Having a thinner enamel might also be one of the reasons for having sensitive teeth as it is the outermost layer that protects the teeth.

How do you get rid of Tooth Sensitivity?

There are many ways to get rid of teeth sensitivity. If you see a dentist, he/she will tell you many ways to treat it. They may recommend you to use a soft-bristle toothbrush or not to eat acidic food in large amount. To treat teeth sensitivity, one must also try to rinse his/her teeth with salt water as it is an effective antiseptic and can help in reducing pain. Washing your mouth with green tea twice a day also helps in relieving the pain and reducing sensitivity.

Popular Health Tips

Toothache Problem? Don't Take It Otherwise!

Dentist, Gorakhpur
Toothache Problem? Don't Take It Otherwise!

Tooth pain is not something you can take over the counter medicines and get cured. Tooth pain can have multiple causes and definite treatment accordingly. You can take medicines to diminish the pain and make sure to visit a specialist. Your dentist will tell you what is the exact cause and how to remove it permanently. Ignorance in this regard will only lead to future complicated problems like abscess/ granuloma/ cyst/ spread of infection etc.
You can also be able to differentiate between tooth sensitivity and pain once you visit the dental specialist.

1 person found this helpful

Sensitive Teeth!

Dentist, Mumbai
Sensitive Teeth!

Is the taste of ice cream or a sip of hot coffee sometimes painful experience for you? Does brushing or flossing make you wince occasionally? If so, you may have sensitive teeth.

Possible causes include:

  • Tooth decay (cavities)
  • Fractured teeth
  • Worn fillings
  • Gum disease
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Exposed tooth root

In healthy teeth, a layer of enamel protects the crowns of your teeth—the part above the gum line. Under the gum line, a layer called cementum protects the tooth root. Underneath both the enamel and the cementum is dentin. 
Dentin is less dense than enamel and cementum and contains microscopic tubules (small hollow tubes or canals). When dentin loses its protective covering of enamel or cementum these tubules allow heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods to reach the nerves and cells inside the tooth. Dentin may also be exposed when gums recede. The result can be hypersensitivity.

Sensitive teeth can be treated. The type of treatment will depend on what is causing the sensitivity. Your dentist may suggest one of a variety of treatments:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste. This contains compounds that help block transmission of sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve, and usually requires several applications before the sensitivity is reduced.
  • Fluoride gel. An in-office technique which strengthens tooth enamel and reduces the transmission of sensations.
  • A crown, inlay or bonding. These may be used to correct a flaw or decay that results in sensitivity.
  • Surgical gum graft. If gum tissue has been lost from the root, this will protect the root and reduce sensitivity.
  • Root canalIf sensitivity is severe and persistent and cannot be treated by other means, your dentist may recommend this treatment to eliminate the problem.

Proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing sensitive-tooth pain. Ask your dentist if you have any questions about your daily oral hygiene routine or concerns about tooth sensitivity.

7 people found this helpful

Tooth Sensitivity - What Causes It?

BDS, MDS - Periodontology and Oral Implantology
Dentist, Bangalore
Tooth Sensitivity - What Causes It?

Dental problems can be very painful and take the smile off your face completely. Those who have experienced sensitivity would vouch for it. It just will not allow you to enjoy the hot coffee or a favourite sweet or a cold smoothie. The pain that shoots down the tooth after any of these would leave the person shuddering.

The tooth has 3 layers, from the outside in these are the enamel, the dentin and the pulp. The outermost enamel is mineralized and the hardest structure in the body. The next layer, dentin, has fine tubules, and when the enamel is worn off exposing the dentin, sensitivity sets in. The enamel is thinner in some portions of the tooth like the neck and the roots, therefore sensitivity onset is quicker in these areas. Some of the common reasons for sensitivity are listed below:

- Tooth decay: As caries progresses from enamel to dentin, sensitivity sets in, especially hot and cold foods.
- Wear and tear: Excessive brushing of teeth can lead to wearing of teeth, especially near the neck areas, leading to loss of enamel and resulting in sensitivity.
- Dental damage: Chipped or broken tooth can lead to sensitivity.
- Gingival disease: This leads to loss of gum cover over the tooth, leading to exposure of dentin and therefore, sensitivity.
- Bruxism: Clenching of teeth, common in people with high levels of stress, can lead to enamel wearing and subsequent sensitivity.
- Dental treatment: Some dental procedures like scaling, crowns, root planing and some fillings can cause transient sensitivity.
- Highly acidic food items: Citrus fruits, tomatoes, tea, etc. can lead to tooth sensitivity.
- Bleaching agents: Most tooth whitening agents result in sensitive teeth.
- Excessive use of mouthwash: The mouth rinses contain high amount of alcohol which can also lead to tooth sensitivity.

Management: As with all health conditions, the first step in management is to identify the problem. Whether it is dental decay or recent dental treatment, food habits or tooth whitening agents, the cause needs to be identified and then treatment begins accordingly.
- For lost enamel, be it decay or damage, the tooth again needs to be restored to its original form to cover the dentinal tubules and reduce sensitivity.
- For habits, be it food related or bruxism, in addition to treating the tooth, the habit per se needs to be addressed to prevent recurrence.
- For associated dental products like whitening agents or mouth rinses, talk to a dentist to switch to a less harmful product.
- De-sensitizing pastes are also available that can be used on a regular basis to reduce the problem.

Tooth sensitivity is annoying but there are ways to manage it effectively.

5304 people found this helpful

Tooth Sensitivity - Know Causes And Treatment Of It!

Dentist, Narnaul
Tooth Sensitivity - Know Causes And Treatment Of  It!

Tooth sensitivity is a condition when the nerve endings in the teeth are overly sensitive to hold and cold conditions. Drinking and eating hot or cold food may cause a sharp pain in the tooth. A material called dentin, which is what makes up the inside of your tooth, is protected by the enamel in the crown and the cementum in the root of the tooth. In cases when the dentin loses its covering, teeth may be become sensitive.

Causes of sensitive teeth

1. Inflammation caused by bacteria may lead to sensitive teeth.
2. Gum diseases such as gingivitis may cause the gums to retract and reveal the roots of your teeth.
3. Constantly grinding your teeth can cause the enamel to break down, which leads to exposure of the dentin.
4. Accumulation of plaque can cause sensitive teeth.
5. Various acidic foods such as lemon cause the enamel to be worn out.
6. Sensitive teeth is caused by decay of the tooth.
7. Various dental procedures such as teeth restoration and cleaning of the teeth cause the teeth to be sensitive.

Treatments for sensitive teeth

1. You need to use dental products that contain fluoride. Fluoride products tend to decrease teeth sensitivity.
2. Restrict consumption of acidic foods such as lemon and some dairy products.
3. If you grind your teeth then start using mouth guard.
4. Follow proper dental hygiene such as brushing and flossing on a regular basis to keep teeth sensitivity at bay.
5. You should use a toothbrush that has soft bristles so that the gum tissue is not affected while brushing.
6. You may use a toothpaste that has been made for people who have sensitive teeth.
7. You may apply fluoride varnishes to root surfaces that have been exposed.
8. You may cover up root surfaces with white fillings.
9. Application of dentin sealers to root surfaces that have been exposed may help in preventing tooth sensitivity.
10. Laser is also effective to fix tooth sensitivity.

3258 people found this helpful

How Can You Prevent Tooth Sensitivity?

BDS, Fellow of Academy of General Education (FAGE), Advanced Endotontic Course On Root Canal, Postgraduate in Aesthetic Dentistry
Dentist, Kolkata
How Can You Prevent Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity can be best described with the symptom of a sharp pain that you feel in your teeth when you sip something hot or cold. It is this contact of the drink with the sensitive tooth that causes the sharp pain. Extremely cold climate and eating something which is sweet or sour can cause the sensitive teeth to cause such a sensation, thus making it uncomfortable for you to eat anything.

The most common causes of sensitive teeth are as follows:
1. Tooth decay near the gum line can cause the teeth to be sensitive
2. Consumption of highly acidic foods and beverages
3. Using a hard toothbrush and aggressive brushing can lead to erosion of tooth enamel and cause tooth sensitivity
4. Plague buildup and gum diseases cause tooth sensitivity which may require you to consult your dentist immediately

However, there are many precautions that dentists recommend which can prevent your tooth from becoming sensitive. These are:

1. Gently brush your teeth and use a toothbrush that has soft bristles. This can prevent any damage to the enamel.
2. Apply proper technique to clean all parts of your mouth and teeth. You should also rinse your mouth properly with antiseptic mouthwash and fluoride.
3. You should eat a well -balanced diet which is low in acidic content. Soft drinks and cold drinks should be avoided as they can damage the enamel on your teeth.
4. Using desensitizing toothpaste can help reduce the pain associated with sensitivity.

Hypersensitive tooth needs proper treatment and you should immediately consult your dentist. There are many dental procedures ranging from simple to complex ones, aimed towards controlling pain and sensitivity. Root canal and application of fluoride to the sensitive areas of your teeth can help reduce pain. Root canal is a treatment at the tooth’s soft core and is considered the most successful treatment to eliminate the pain associated with infected tooth without the need to remove it.

3216 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Hi, My 8 teeth had filling but its came out and I filling sensitivity and tooth ache what should I do, how much it cost to refilling for permanent or for long time?

BDS, Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Cosmetology
Dentist, Surat
You need tl refill your cavities depends upon size and material cost may vary from 1000-2000 per cavity.

My premolars had a cavity and was filled by dentist almost 2 months ago. When I drink chilled water ,the filled tooth is showing high sensitivity without any pain. What can be the reason?

MDS - Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Dentist, Chennai
Good evening sir! kindly go to a dental clinic and take an IOPA xray. It helps to know whether you caries is completely removed and filed. Thank you!

Hi I am suffering Fromm tooth sensitivity. I have been using sensodine but it didn't help. What to do to permanently cure tooth sensitivity.

BDS (Implantologist), Fellowship in Lasers & Cosmetology
Dentist, Jalandhar
Hey! Go to a dentist and got your scaling and polishing done and use toothpaste vantej* (twice daily) how to use it- apply on all teeth. Let it be there for 1 to 2 mins then apply on toothbrush and do brushing. Your sensitivity will resolve take care.

I have a decayed tooth and is highly sensitive. How to reduce pain on decayed tooth using home remedies?

MD - Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopath, Vadodara
It cannot be done by home remedies. Keeping claw in mouth may give temporary relief. You can consult me at lybrate for homoeopathic treatment...

Table of Content

What is Tooth Sensitivity?

What causes Tooth Sensitivity?

What is the treatment of Tooth Sensitivity?

What are the symptoms of Tooth Sensitivity?

Is it possible to reverse Tooth Sensitivity?

What happens if you get Tooth Sensitivity?

How do you get rid of Tooth Sensitivity?

Play video
Tooth Sensitivity

Hello friends, my name is Dr Aishna Sharma, today I am going to discuss about the topic that is very common and in general everyone suffers from it and that is, tooth sensitivity.

Tooth sensitivity is basically any kind of pain due to extremes (hot and cold) food or drinks or even with a blow of air. Now first of all going deep into this topic you musyt understand the tooth structure, that is a tooth it consists of three layers;

The outermost layer enamel, that is considered to be the hardest substance on the eart, other than the diamond.
Now, after enamel comes dentin. Dentin is considered to be the softer substance.
It has tubules in it. Tubules that starts from the outer layer of the dentin and ends up to the pulp.
This dentin and inside dentin is the pulp. The pulp or the nerve tissue, this nerve tissue consist if sensations, and with whatever we eat whatever we have all the sensation is passed through the nerves and it reaches through the dentin and then it reaches to the enamel. Now whenever we have sensitivity it means that the tooth structure is lost because of many reasons. Now first and foremost reason is the loss of gum tissue. The loss of gum tissue can occur when we take some very acidic things like pepsi, coke or any aerated drink. So in that case our gum tissues are soft in nature, that gets lost. So when it gets lost the lower part of the tooth that is the root of the tooth, it gets exposed and it is sensitive in nature so obviously you will have sensitivity in that area. The sensitivity is not in the tooth structure it is in the root area. Now, other reason of sensitivity is decay. Decay is the most common.

When you will have decay?

First and foremost you will get to know about decay when your food will get lost when the food will get lost only in the outer surface of the tooth, that is the enamel, you won t have any sensitivity you will just have the complain of getting the food lost, but when it reaches the dentin, you will definitely have sensitivity. The first sensitivity you are going to have is cold, after that hot and after that when it is very near to the nerves, you will have sensitivity to sweets. Now, this is how this process of decay stats from sensitivity and ends up in pain because when you reach the nerve, you will experience pain. Other reason of sensitivity is fracture, when the tooth gets fractured, so obviously in fractured case also the dentin is getting exposed and even at times the pulp or the nerve tissue gets exposed. So all the sensation, whatever you eat or drink gets passed on to the tooth directly to the inside of the tooth directly and you will have sensation of hot and cold, even to sweets.

Now, what is the treatment line for tooth sensitivity?

The first and foremost line and the most common treatment line people do at home is the desensitizing paste, nowadays there are so many advertisements coming on national television. So, desensitizing paste is something that you have to use regularly and slowly you will attain the result. But, ya if you don t get results with the desensitizing paste, you have to come to the clinic. To the doctor s place and you have to get the treated by the fluorited toothpaste that the doctor will recommend. Even after that if you are not getting relieved, then you haveto go for the filling that filling is medicated filling. Even at times if it is your bad luck that you don t even get relief with the filling then you have to go for the root canal only after that the sensitive tooth will be relieved.

For further detail on this topic, you can call me and chat with me. There is live chat option also on and you can visit our clinic that is Rohini Dental Care and it is in sector 31 Gurgaon. Rest, you can get from the Lybrate.
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice