Teeth Sensitivity: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, and Electric Toothbrushes Impact | Cheeeese
Eating too sweet, too hot, or too cold hurts you. What if you suffer from dental hypersensitivity? To limit the inconvenience associated with these too-sensitive teeth, follow the guide!
In France, nearly one in three adults suffers from dental hypersensitivity, which results in pain and discomfort. From causes to prevention, find out the basics about this disorder.
What is tooth sensitivity?
Dental hypersensitivity results in intermittent pain and more or less violent discomfort localized on the whole of the teeth. They are caused by:
- Mechanical actions, such as contact with cutlery, brushing…;
- Thermal actions such as contact with hot or cold food;
- Chemical actions such as contact with foods that are too sweet or vinegar.
At the origin of these painful sensations, we always find the same cause: the exposure of the dentin, composed of the dentinal tubules, microscopic hollow channels leading to the nerve, normally protected by the enamel or cement, and the gums . The various natural shields of dentin (enamel, gums, etc.) can be damaged by certain actions and as a result, the dentin is in direct contact with the outside, any aggression thus resulting in a painful sensation.
Sensitive teeth: the causes
But what are the causes of this deterioration of the natural shields of dentin? We can schematically divide them in two:
A damaged enamel:
Many elements can degrade tooth enamel leading to its erosion:
The use of too stripping toothpaste or a too hard toothbrush;
Consumption of too acidic products (sodas, citrus juice, white wine, etc.);
Or even repetitive vomiting (eating disorders, liver attacks, chronic gastroenteritis).
By the way, note that limiting acid products will also spare your stomach!
Recession of the gums
Regarding the retraction of the gums, it inevitably occurs with age but is accelerated in the following cases:
- Chronic gingivitis;
- Poor dental hygiene;
- Badly adapted brushing technique.
Sometimes dental care, such as filling, can cause leaky fillings and cause the gums to retract. Certain drugs such as neuroleptics or calcium channel blockers are also responsible for gum damage.
Our advice to reduce dental hypersensitivity
To limit the appearance of such hypersensitivity as much as possible, or limit its effects, Doctissimo gives you some simple advice:
- Avoid brushing your teeth too vigorously;
- Systematically brush each area of the mouth, one after the other and always in the same order, in order to avoid aggressive and excessively rubbing certain areas;
- Brush your teeth with a toothpaste with desensitizing action;
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush;
- To know if your teeth are brushed well, rely on your tongue, which immediately detects areas that are still rough on the teeth;
- Avoid brushing your teeth for about half an hour after consuming acidic foods or drinks, these soften tooth enamel and make it very sensitive to mechanical influences;
- Use a fluoridated mouthwash or gel specially designed for sensitive teeth;
- Visit your dentist regularly, who will perform a professional cleaning and teach you the right actions to adopt.
The importance of good oral hygiene
A toothbrush should clean the surface of the teeth well while taking care of the gum tissue. As such, the part of the tooth in contact with the gum (neck) is particularly to be monitored. In addition to painful sensations, bare necks are the door open to root caries - at the level of the roots - because the dentin is then attacked by the bacteria of dental plaque. These same bacteria can cause inflammation and irritation of the gums, leading to bleeding. A sort of vicious circle is then established: we avoid sensitive areas by brushing our teeth so there are even more deposits and the gum continues to withdraw.
Finally, be aware that inadequate oral hygiene can also increase the risk factors for the onset of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and premature childbirth. In addition, the immune system and the respiratory tract are also directly influenced by the oral and jaw region. So to take care of your health, be aware of your dental capital today!
Dental hypersensitivity: solutions exist!
Does the mere touch of ice cream against your teeth trigger pain? You are probably suffering from dental hypersensitivity. Don't panic, there are solutions to find a smile. Doctissimo takes stock with Dr Christophe Lequart,.
Dental hypersensitivity is a real problem. It is estimated that around 50% of patients who visit their dentist suffer from it. Women would be mainly affected, in an age bracket of 20 to 50 years, with a peak between 30 and 40. But how to guard against these ailments that interfere in everyday life?
Causes of dental hypersensitivity
The first cause of dental hypersensitivity is the destruction of the enamel.
Several phenomena can alter the enamel layer:
- Bad tooth brushing: horizontally, too hard, with a too stiff toothbrush ...;
- Eating or drinking acidic foods too often (sodas, fruit juice, compotes, etc.);
- Repetitive vomiting.
The second cause of dental hypersensitivity is gingival retraction: "If the gum does not completely cover the tooth, then the dentin is found directly in contact with the substances," says Dr. Lequart. It can be caused by poor dental hygiene, bad tooth brushing or recurrent gingivitis.
Daily dental hypersensitivity solutions
If you suffer from hypersensitivity, there are several solutions available to you.
Use toothpastes specially designed for "sensitive teeth", which work by blocking holes on the dentin surface. Generally, these toothpastes are based on strontium chloride or potassium salts: it is these molecules which will play the role of "plugs" of the canaliculi. They do not require a medical prescription.
- Make certain mineral-rich mouthwashes, which aim at the mineralization of the exposed dentin;
- Review your teeth brushing technique: forget about horizontal brushing: you have to make a vertical movement "from red to white". This helps not to irritate the gums and teeth;
- Have a toothbrush with soft bristles and if possible, use dental floss in addition in the evening to clean between each tooth;
- Avoid consuming too many acidic foods or drinks: citrus fruits (lemon, grapefruit, orange ...), diet sodas or not, energy drinks, vitamin C-based drugs, vinegar ...
- "If, after two months of treatment, the disorders persist, we associate treatment in a dental office," warns Dr. Lequart.
Dental hypersensitivity treatments in the office
- Still in order to plug these micro-holes on the dentin, the dentist can give you a surface varnish;
- He can also use a product which "freezes" the proteins of the dentin: this limits the phenomenon of dilation-retraction at the origin of the painful influx;
- In the event of greater enamel loss, in particular for the notches associated with brushing, the preferred solution is the composite resin which allows the partial reconstruction of the protective layer.
As a last resort, root canal or gum grafting
If all these methods are ineffective, in the last instance, the dentist may choose to devitalize the offending tooth: no more nerves, therefore no more pain. If a gum retraction is involved, you may also be offered a gum graft. Here, the goal will be to take a small sample of the gum to put it elsewhere, where the tooth needs to be better covered.
In any case, if, like a large part of the French, you suffer from dental hypersensitivity, do not hesitate to talk to your dentist. He will be able to advise you on a method adapted to your needs so that these small pains are nothing more than a bad memory.
10 natural solutions against tooth sensitivity
In contact with hot or cold food, do you feel the pain that radiates to your teeth? You probably suffer from tooth sensitivity. Among the various causes, we can cite poor dental hygiene (the accumulation of tartar causes detachment of the gum, the dentin is then raw), an unbalanced diet (too rich in acidifying foods and sugars that destroy the enamel), a dental problem attacking the enamel of the tooth.
However, tooth sensitivity is not inevitable and we can get rid of these acute pains, by adopting some good reflexes, preventive and curative.
Warning: Natural solutions do not replace a consultation with the dentist if the problem persists.
Brushing in the rules of the art
To begin with, we take care of our teeth washing, by brushing vertically, with a soft brush (so as not to irritate the gum), at least three times a day.
Side toothpaste, it must be based on green clay. You can also do it yourself by mixing powdered green clay with a drop of tea tree essential oil for its antifungal and antibacterial properties. A natural remedy that prevents the proliferation of oral bacteria.
Reduce acidifying foods and sugars
If you suffer from tooth sensitivity, you may need to change a few habits on your plate. Indeed, acidifying foods and sugars should be consumed in moderation. Explanation: they destroy tooth enamel and lead to detachment of the gum.
In practice, we limit our consumption of red meat, cold meats, alcohol, black coffee, black tea, cereals and industrial dairy products made from cow's milk. Instead, we favor fruits and vegetables as well as fish and white meat.
Depending on your tooth sensitivity, lemon should be avoided as well as industrial citrus juices. On the other hand, why not a real freshly squeezed orange juice, from time to time, rich in vitamin C.
A few drops of peppermint essential oil
In case of pain, while waiting for a dental consultation, soak a gauze or cotton swab with a few drops of peppermint essential oil and apply to the painful area. Thanks to its menthol, the oil acts as an analgesic, providing a feeling of soothing freshness.
Be careful, peppermint being irritating, be careful not to apply it to the gum. The essential oil is also not recommended for pregnant women, in case of breastfeeding and for children under 7 years old.
An emulsion of bicarbonate and hydrogen peroxide
To prevent pain related to tooth sensitivity, we adopt a good reflex twice a week, by mixing, in equal parts, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide at 10 volumes. An emulsion is thus obtained. Using a toothbrush, remove a little and rub on all sides of the teeth. Then, we do the same with a special boss for the interstices, which we pass delicately between each tooth.
A somewhat off-putting ritual, but effective.
Clove essential oil and Roman chamomile vegetable oil
To relieve severe pain, soak gauze with a few drops of clove essential oil, which is applied to the painful area. This natural remedy can be used for several days if needed.
Variation: Pour 5 drops of clove essential oil in a teaspoon of Roman chamomile vegetable oil. With your fingertips, gently massage the gum with this preparation. You can also apply gauze soaked in this mixture on the tooth.
Know that the essential oil of clove is renowned for its dental anesthetic virtues. On the other hand, it is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women and for children under 6 years old.
A cure of cod liver oil
In prevention, during the winter period, it is recommended to do a cod liver oil cure for 3 months. And good news, it exists in capsule, at a rate of 2 each morning. Thanks to its vitamin D supply, cod liver oil acts on bones, teeth and enamel.
Tooth sensitivity is often linked to a problem with the retraction of the gum tissue. In prevention, there is an ancestral remedy from South America. Its name: ratanhia. This red root widely used in Peru, rich in tannin, tones the mucous membranes of the gum.
For those in a hurry, we buy in pharmacy herbalist, the mother tincture of ratanhia. Dilute 20 drops in a glass of lukewarm water and make a mouthwash after brushing your teeth.
For purists, we make our own decoction (to be made every day). Pour a teaspoon of the root in a glass and a half of boiling water. Boil for 5 min and steep for 10 min. Filter.
A clove clove
If you are subject to dental sensitivities, then you have to pay for a small box in aluminum in which with canneries, some whole cloves, bought in herbalist.
In case of pain, we moisten the clove in his mouth, which is then chewed in the painful area. Besides the soothing effect, it also provides good breath.
A cure of probiotics
Probiotics are used to get rid of pathogenic bacteria in the mouth, which can be responsible for tooth sensitivity. We do a cure, for 1 to 2 months, at the rate of one capsule every morning on an empty stomach. Choose probiotics with several strains, sold in organic stores or pharmacies. The result: better oral and esophageal flora.
Kinds of toothpaste for sensitive teeth: how to choose?
If cold or sugary foods hurt you, you may be suffering from dental hypersensitivity! Fortunately, these pains can be treated, in particular with desensitizing toothpaste or an alternative treatment.
Why do I have sensitive teeth?
Dental hypersensitivity results in more or less severe pain and discomfort localized on the whole of the teeth.
The cause of this hypersensitivity is the exposure of the dentin. This area rich in nerve endings is normally protected by enamel (or cementum) and gum tissue. Various attacks (loss of enamel, retraction of the gums, cavities, broken teeth…) can destroy this natural shield. Result: in direct contact with the outside, any aggression results in a painful sensation.
Toothpaste against tooth sensitivity: how does it work?
Low-abrasive toothpaste that contain fluorine or permethol is effective solutions for dental hypersensitivity. These attach to the surface of the dentin and thus form a protective layer. Chlorhexidine also limits bacterial growth and works long after brushing. As a bonus, these toothpaste can also protect your gums.
However, be careful with toothpaste stamped "sensitive teeth". While some have the desired result, others have never proven their effectiveness. Do not hesitate to ask your dentist for his opinion, who can advise you.
Toothpaste for sensitive teeth: are they effective?
Yes, they improve the problem of tooth sensitivity when used over the long term. Obviously, for toothpaste against dental hypersensitivity to be fully effective, good oral hygiene practices must be continued on a daily basis: brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes, using dental floss, avoiding too acidic foods...
Tips for choosing your toothpaste for sensitive teeth
Choose toothpaste that contains essential minerals to protect your enamel (fluorine, etc.);
Ask your dentist for his opinion on toothpaste suitable for your teeth and your hypersensitivity;
Do not hesitate to leave a light film of toothpaste on your teeth after brushing. And, on some very sensitive teeth, do not hesitate to add a little toothpaste to let it work.
If you have any questions about your oral hygiene or concerns about tooth sensitivity, especially, speak to your dentist!
What are the other solutions?
Sensitive toothpaste may not be enough to take away the genes or the pain. In this case, there are desensitizing products, for example, varnishes or gels, which will fill the microholes in the dentin. A visit to the dentist is enough to put them in place.
In the event of greater enamel loss, in particular, for the notches associated with brushing, the preferred solution is the composite resin which allows the partial reconstruction of the protective layer. As a last resort, devitalization or gum grafting are solutions.