Civitali Dental and Prosthetic Center srl

Sensitive teeth. Causes and therapy.


Dentinal hypersensitivity

The dentist can detect the cause of hypersensitivity and propose the most appropriate therapy according to the case. Often, treatment relies on following simple recommendations to be carried out at home.

Many people, especially between 35 and 50, may feel complaint or even pain when sweet or sour, or cold or hot food gets in touch with the tooth neck. Practically, teeth have become over-sensitive. In other words, the patient suffer from a disorder known as “dentinal hypersensitivity”.

Causes of hypersensitivity

The tooth becomes over-sensitive when dentine is exposed, that is when it is no more covered by the enamel, or by the cement, or by the gum. If this happens, the oral environment gets in touch with the nerve (pulp) – the sensitive part of the tooth - through the

dentinal tubules (small galleries passing through dentine), causing pain.

Factors causing the exposition of dentine are many, among which:

Wrong brushing technique associated with the use of excessively abrasive tooth-pastes. This can cause dentine exposition because of enamel abrasion, or gingival recession (the retraction of the gum border).

Assuming sour food or drinks (orange or grapefruit squeezes, fruit juices, drinks, yogurt) especially if cold or before going to sleep may lesion the enamel.

The same effect may be caused by all the disorders causing gastric reflux or by eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia) or special conditions (pregnancy) leading to frequent vomit.

Assessment and therapy

The dentist can determine the cause of hypersensitivity and prescribe the most appropriate therapy depending on the case. Often simple recommendations to be followed at home are sufficient.

Following a correct oral hygiene program

Using mildly-abrasive tooth pastes containing fluoride

Avoiding brushing too hard

Limiting sour drinks consumption

In some other cases therapy may call for the application of desensitizing medicaments or periodontal or reconstructive therapies to be performed by the dentist.