What are hypersensitive teeth?
Sensitive teeth are a common dental problem known as dentine hypersensitivity. Teeth can become sensitive when the enamel that covers them begins to erode.
The inside of a tooth is primarily made up of a material called dentin, which contains microscopic tubules filled with tiny nerve endings. An outer layer of enamel protects the dentin within the crown portion of tooth, and the dentin extending down to the root of tooth is protected by a layer of cementum. As the enamel wears away, the underlying layer of dentin is exposed, and results in discomfort when consuming hot, cold, acidic or sticky foods.



The level of sensitivity can vary, meaning you can experience anything from mild to severe discomfort. This is a condition that can develop over time, and most sufferers are between 20 and 50 years old.

Sensitive teeth can also be a warning sign of serious dental problems.

Causes of sensitive teeth
Brushing too hard: . Sometimes tooth sensitivity comes from brushing with too much force or using a hard-bristled toothbrush. Over time, you can wear down the protective layers of your teeth and expose microscopic hollow tubes or canals that lead to your dental nerves. When these tubes are exposed to extreme temperatures or acidic or sticky foods, tooth sensitivity and discomfort can result. The simplest solution is to switch to a toothbrush with softer bristles and to be gentler when brushing.
Tooth erosion: Loss of tooth enamel caused by attacks of acid from acidicfood and drinks.
Tooth attrition: It may be physiological. It is very common in old aged patients and patients who have habit of chewing pan masala with betel nut.
Tooth decay: It is one the major cause of sensitive teeth, particularly in second or third stage of dental decay, when decay progressed near pulp or up to pulp tissue. Dental decay is major cause of loss of enamel. Worn leaky fillings and broken teeth that expose the dentin of tooth.
Gum disease: A build-up of plaque or tartar can cause the gum to recede down the tooth and even destroy the bony support of the tooth. Due to pyorrhea, loss of gum tissue exposed the sensitive root portion of teeth to hot and cold things.
Grinding your teeth: A habit which involves clenching and grinding the teeth together usually at night (bruxism) which can cause the enamel of the teeth to be worn away.
Dental treatments: Sensitivity after procedures such as crowns, fillings and tooth bleaching.
Naturally shrinking gums: If you’re over 40, it could be that your gums are showing signs of wear and tear by pulling away from your teeth and uncovering your tooth roots. Those roots don’t have enamel to protect them, so they’re much more sensitive than the rest of your tooth.

Treatment of sensitive teeth
Sensitive teeth can be troublesome, but they can be treated. The type of treatment will depend on what is the cause of the sensitivity. Even in situations where there is no obvious cause for your pain, there are numerous treatments to help you manage the sensitivity.

Having a conversation with your dentist is the first step in finding relief from your discomfort. Describe your symptoms and tell your dentist when the pain started.
After examination of sensitive teeth, cause will be determined, then treatment will be given according to the reason for your sensitivity.

Here are some of the most common treatments for sensitive teeth:
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. There are many brands of toothpaste on the market made to help ease the pain of sensitive teeth.
Fluoride gel: It is an in-office fluoride application gel to strengthen the tooth enamel. This technique reduces the transmission of sensations.
Periodontal treatment: If you have gum disease that has progressed to a chronic or advanced stage, you'll need to treat this as well.
Cracked tooth: A chipped or cracked tooth can cause pain that goes beyond tooth sensitivity. Your dentist will need to evaluate your tooth and decide the right course of treatment, such as a cap with or without root canal treatment or an extraction.
Rootcanal treatment: If sensitivity is severe and persistent and cannot be treated by other means, it is last option to eliminate the problem. An x-ray should be taken to determine if a root canal could be the issue, and it will remove the nerve so it's no longer there to cause you pain.

Prevention of Sensitive Teeth
If you have dentine hypersensitivity, you can help to minimize further exposure of the dentine and relieve the painful symptoms by making some simple changes to your daily oral care routine and dietary habits. As well as keeping up to date with your dentist appointment, and making sure you maintain a good oral hygiene routine at home, the steps below can help you to prevent sensitive teeth:
Brush your teeth twice a day: Use toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Avoid brushing your teeth from side to side.
Change your toothbrush: Every two to three months, or sooner if it becomes worn.
Avoidacidic foods and drinks: Soda, sticky candy, high-sugar all of these treats attack enamel. Instead, snack on fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, cheese or plain yogurt.
Stop grinding your teeth: Over time, teeth grinding wears away your enamel. Sometimes, addressing your stress can stop the problem. If that doesn’t work, night guard is last option to protect your teeth during night.
Don’t brush too hard: If you clean your teeth with a heavy hand you might be taking off more than just plaque. Side-to-side brushing right at the gum line can make your enamel go away faster. You should use a soft-bristled brush and work at a 45-degree angle to your gum to keep enamel clean and strong. Learn proper technique for teeth brushing.
Visit your dentist regularly: See your dentist 6 monthly for proper assessment and to find out how to prevent sensitive teeth.