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Sensitive teeth?

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Keep smiling Get your teeth checked regulalry by a dentist
Keep smiling Get your teeth checked regulalry by a dentist

Desensitising toothpastes can help relieve the pain

If cold food means pain, it is a sign of tooth sensitivity. Seventeen per cent of Indians experience pain when they eat something hot/cold. According to a study, sensitivity as a problem has the second highest incidence among consumers.

The latest CUAS findings indicate that 46 per cent of cases suffering from sensitivity belong to the age group 30-40. There is very low awareness about desensitising toothpastes and 94 per cent of people wrongly believed that these are available only at pharmacies. It is estimated that 50-90 per cent of people brush with too much pressure.

Sensitivity of teeth occurs with the passing of age and time for, with years of brushing, significant tooth tissue as well as gum tissue get removed, exposing the inner portion of the tooth and the roots.

What is sensitivity of teeth? Our teeth are made up of three layers. The outermost layer which covers the upper half of the tooth is called enamel and the layer which covers the root section of the tooth is called cementum. The layer beneath these is called dentine. This is not as mineralised and is less dense than the outer layers and, more important, it contains thin tubes which connect it to the soft portion of the tooth which contains nerve endings. Dental sensitivity is a condition that arises when this inner layer called dentine is exposed.

Most common symptom

If a taste of ice cream or a sip of coffee is sometimes painful or brushing or flossing makes you wince occasionally, you may be suffering from sensitive teeth. Sharp or shooting pain caused while eating hot or cold, sweet or sour food is the most common symptom of tooth sensitivity. When hot or cold foods and liquids come into contact with the root surfaces, they may stimulate the nerves, causing you to feel pain.

How to get relief

Dentists suggest using a desensitising toothpaste which contains compounds that help block sensation travelling from the tooth surface to the nerve.

Since some sensitive toothpastes are available in a mint flavour as well, they can be used as ‘regular' toothpastes by consumers.

If the desensitising toothpaste does not relieve pain, then your dentist may suggest a fluoride gel or special desensitising agents that may be applied to sensitive areas of the affected teeth.

When these measures do not correct the problem, your dentist may recommend other treatments such as a filling and a crown, depending on what is causing the sensitivity.

Courtesy: Indian Dental Association

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