Enamel sensitivity: Perceive the causes and the way to handle them to construct affected person belief


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Dentin hypersensitivity or delicate tooth is among the most typical complaints from dental sufferers. In truth, a 2013 survey discovered that 1 in 8 adults could undergo from delicate tooth. Based on the identical survey, delicate tooth is most prevalent amongst younger adults, ladies and other people with receding gums or who did at-home tooth whitening.

As a dental skilled, you’ve possible heard tales from sufferers who can now not take pleasure in their morning cup of espresso or an ice cream sundae due to their delicate tooth. Whereas a easy plan of action is to debate their oral hygiene habits and recommend a desensitizing toothpaste, it’s essential to know the causes, analysis, scientific administration and preventive methods for addressing delicate tooth.

Causes of delicate tooth

Enamel sensitivity is usually outlined as a brief, sharp ache that arises from uncovered dentin. Although there are no universally accepted guidelines for diagnosing dentin hypersensitivity, it’s usually accepted that sensitive teeth are typically the result of worn tooth enamel or exposed tooth roots. To complicate the matter, dental caries, a cracked or chipped tooth, a worn filling or gum illness may additionally be the explanation for a affected person’s delicate tooth.

The American Dental Association (ADA) lists the following possible causes of sensitive teeth:

  • Tooth decay (cavities)
  • Fractured tooth
  • Worn fillings
  • Gum illness
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Uncovered tooth root

It’s the position of the dental hygienist and dentist to work collectively to determine the reason for tooth sensitivity by reviewing the affected person’s historical past, oral examination and by interviewing the affected person.

Analysis and scientific administration of delicate tooth

Thankfully for sufferers, sensitive teeth can be treated. The remedy choice you select for a affected person will rely on the trigger. However an excellent start line or first suggestion is commonly to advocate a desensitizing toothpaste, which accommodates compounds that assist block the feeling touring from the tooth floor to the nerve. Store desensitizing toothpastes at pattersondental.com. Remember to clarify to the affected person that it might require a number of purposes earlier than the sensitivity is lowered.

If the desensitizing toothpaste doesn’t ease discomfort within the affected person, in-office remedies could also be required (view available desensitizers). A fluoride gel or desensitizing agent may be utilized to the delicate areas of the affected tooth. If signs of delicate tooth persist, different remedies corresponding to a filling, a crown, an inlay or bonding could also be wanted to appropriate a flaw or decay that leads to sensitivity. Once more, which remedy choice to pick will rely on the reason for delicate tooth.

If gum recession is current, the affected person may have a surgical gum graft to cowl the foundation, shield the tooth and cut back the sensitivity. In instances by which tooth sensitivity is extreme and chronic and can’t be handled by different means, endodontic remedy could also be essential.

The right way to forestall delicate tooth

Discussing tooth sensitivity remedy choices is an effective time to additionally stress the significance of correct oral hygiene as that is the important thing to stopping sensitive-tooth ache. Remember to ask the affected person about their oral hygiene habits and make recommendations for enhancements.

Many oral hygiene habits corresponding to brushing with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day could sound apparent, however different concepts for preserving tooth enamel could also be a brand new idea to a affected person with delicate tooth. For instance, many sufferers could not know that consuming or drinking acidic foods and drinks, such as carbonated drinks, citrus fruits and wine can remove small amounts of tooth enamel over time. Clarify to the affected person that it’s OK to take pleasure in an occasional carbonated beverage or a glass a wine, however that it’s essential to counter that by ingesting water to steadiness the acid ranges of their mouth.

Understanding the underlying causes of tooth sensitivity and the way to handle the problem with a affected person is essential to constructing belief and enhancing the general affected person expertise. Being open and honest when discussing the significance of correct oral hygiene habits as a preventative technique will enable you to in constructing lasting and constant relationships together with your sufferers.

Communicate together with your Patterson Dental consultant for merchandise that handle tooth sensitivity or shop all preventative products at pattersondental.com.

Delicate tooth: References and extra sources

Mouth Wholesome Delivered to you by the American Dental Affiliation. Sensitive Teeth. Accessed Aug. 5, 2022.

Thomas J. Salinas, DDS. What causes sensitive teeth, and how can I treat them? Mayo Clinic. Dec. 7, 2021.

Carina Storrs. 1 in 8 Adults May Have Sensitive Teeth. WebMD. March 1, 2013.

Davari A, Ataei E, Assarzadeh H. Dentin hypersensitivity: etiology, diagnosis and treatment; a literature review. J Dent (Shiraz). 2013 Sep;14(3):136-45. PMID: 24724135; PMCID: PMC3927677.

Liu, XX., Tenenbaum, H.C., Wilder, R.S. et al. Pathogenesis, diagnosis and management of dentin hypersensitivity: an evidence-based overview for dental practitioners. BMC Oral Well being 20, 220 (2020).

Richard D. Trushkowsky, DDS; and Franklin Garcia-Godoy, DDS, MS, PhD. Dentin Hypersensitivity: Differential Diagnosis, Tests, and Etiology. January 2020. Parkell On-line Studying Heart.

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