Hypersensitive Teeth

Why do you have hypersensitive teeth?

How do I know if I have hypersensitive teeth?

If you feel pain or tingling when you drink, eat or are exposed to cold air, you could have hypersensitive teeth. The good news is, you don’t need to suffer through this condition. If hypersensitivity is diagnosed correctly and the right treatment plan administered, you’ll find yourself enjoying your morning coffee once again in no time.

What causes of hypersensitive teeth?

Some people have hypersensitive teeth because their bite is crooked or they clench their teeth in their sleep. For others it can be the result of restorations that weren’t placed evenly. All these problems are going to cause loading of the teeth, which is where excess pressure results in tooth flexing, leading to sensitivity at the neck of the tooth.

Excess pressure on teeth causes the layer of tissue beneath the hard enamel, known as the dentin, to become exposed. Your dentin is made up of small tubes of fluid. When these tubes come into contact with hot or cold liquids, or even other teeth, this is what causes the pain and discomfort associated with hypersensitivity.

Brushing up on brushing

The other common cause of sensitivity I see in patients is the where dentin has been mechanically exposed by vigorous tooth brushing. The best approach here is to find the right sealant or resin to cover and protect your dentin. Then, it’s really about dental education around the most appropriate pressure to use during teeth brushing.

The first step in getting the appropriate treatment for your condition is to understand what’s causing your hypersensitivity. And varying causes means that there is no one-treatment-fits-all solution to the condition.

Many people think there’s no real long-term solution for hypersensitive teeth and are under the misconception that they just have to endure it, or avoid hot and cold drinks for the rest of their life. But, like most conditions I see, it’s really a matter of correct diagnosis of the underlying cause that will lead to the correct treatment and best patient outcomes.

How are hypersensitive teeth treated?

I’ve seen this type of sensitivity issue treated with fillings at the neck of teeth. But this is a short-term solution and most people who undergo this treatment will find that their teeth become hypersensitive again within a couple of months. The reason their condition returns, is because the loading of pressure on the teeth hasn’t been addressed at the underlying cause of the problem.

The most effective way I’ve found to comprehensively treat sensitivity caused by problems like clenching is through a combination of a simple procedure and a preventive prescription.

First, there needs to be sealant applied to the teeth to repair the exposed dentin. Then, to stop the sealant being eroded again, you need to have an occlusal splint made and wear it each night when you sleep.

This will reduce the load on your teeth and prevent the flexing at the neck of the tooth.