Treating Dentin Hypersensitivity, the Right Way

Posted by Ananya Singh on March 3rd, 2022

Our teeth have a protective layer on it called the enamel. Under the gum line are the roots that are made of tiny tubules. These tubules are connected to the dental nerves, which are the main suppliers to the tooth. Receding gums leaves the dentin layer and the nerves exposed. When the nerves come in contact with acidic, hot, or cold foods and drinks, we can experience extreme discomfort and sharp sensations. This is known as dentin hypersensitivity.

What Causes of Dentin Hypersensitivity?

The above condition doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a very gradual process, and several stages of tooth damage and erosion take place. Dentin hypersensitivity starts with improper brushing techniques, poor oral hygiene, and sometimes excessive brushing. Irregular brushing and flossing can lead to plaque build-up. Improper brushing can cause the gum tissue to wear down over time. In all these situations, the tooth root is left exposed, and the tooth structures are demineralized. This condition usually found in individuals that eat a high acidic diet or frequently drink carbonated drinks, or have munching habits. When individuals go in for dentin hypersensitivity treatment, doctors check if they have a history of gastritis, undergoing chemotherapy or if they are pregnant. Certain individuals suffer from dry mouth disorder where the formation of saliva in less than normal. This disorder makes the mouth a perfect breeding ground for microorganisms to breed and grow.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Dentin Hypersensitivity

The dentist will begin by taking a detailed report of the patients’ medical and dental history. He will also check their oral hygiene routine, regular foods eaten, oral products used, and any other health issues that they may be experiencing. The dentist may also use certain procedures and techniques to check and confirm if the patient has dentin hypersensitivity or any other tooth problem. Dentists usually tap on the teeth to diagnose the patients’ response in order to rule out pulpitis or the inflammation of dental pulp tissue. Patients will be made to bite down on a hard surface or undergo an x-ray so as to rule out a dental fracture. Sometimes the dentist will introduce a jet of air to check the patients’ response to sharp sensations and discomfort. In the initial stages, dentists will recommend an over-the-counter toothpaste that is specially formulated to deal with dentin hypersensitivity. Patients will also be taught the correct way to brush teeth, the right type of brush to use and how to ensure that very tooth is cleaned well, and signs to look out for when it’s time to change the toothbrush.

Treatment Options for Severe Dentin Hypersensitivity

In the case of exposed dentin tubules, dentists may recommend occlusive therapy. Here a protective layer is placed over the dentin to reduce sensitivity and discomfort. Varnish, fluoride compounds, formaldehyde, oxalates, corticosteroids, resin, and bioactive glass are some of the regular desensitizing agents used. Another dentin hypersensitivity treatment is laser therapy which primarily stimulates the thickening of proteins present in the dentin fluid. Laser therapy also creates a non-porous surface over the dentin, which helps reduce any sharp sensations or discomfort in the patient. Ozone therapy penetrates the dentin tubules, destroying the existing bacteria and encouraging mineralization. Sometimes, sodium fluoride varnish or an aqueous solution is applied to the dentin layer. Iontophoresis uses galvanic current along with calcium and fluoride gels to form a protective dentin cover.

Dentin hypersensitivity can be slowed down, prevented and treated with good oral hygiene practices and regular dental check-ups.

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Ananya Singh

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Ananya Singh
Joined: August 5th, 2021
Articles Posted: 8

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