Individuals experiencing dentin sensitivity avoid daily activities such as tooth brushing and consuming hot-cold beverages because they can cause pain. The structure of dentin contains structures called tubules that interact with nerves. The movement of the fluid inside the dentin tubules, which occurs when the gums recede or the enamel tissue is lost, leads to sensitivity. Unless the factors causing dentin sensitivity are addressed and treated, symptoms may progress. The quality of life of individuals with dentin sensitivity is negatively affected by symptoms. Those with sensitivity cannot enjoy their favorite foods and drinks, especially having to wait for cold beverages to become less cold. Dentin sensitivity is often observed in individuals aged 20-45, but it can be distributed in society from adolescence to the 70s. Sensitivity decreases with age-related clogging of dentin tubules, while it increases in individuals with gum problems.
Factors Leading to Dentin Sensitivity:
- Regular consumption of acidic foods or beverages,
Consuming acidic fruits such as oranges and lemons by keeping them in the mouth, frequent intake of acidic beverages, leads to enamel erosion and exposure of dentin tubules. Additionally, chlorine in swimming pools, reflux, chronic vomiting, alcoholism, peptic ulcer, medication-induced dry mouth, saliva buffering capacity, pH, and flow rate causing an acidic environment in the mouth can result in enamel loss and increased dentin sensitivity.
- Gum diseases,
Gum recession due to gum diseases exposes root surfaces. With the exposure of root surfaces, dentin tubules become open to external stimuli, leading to increased tooth sensitivity. Gum recession and exposure of dentin surfaces can also occur due to improper brushing habits. The use of inappropriate brushes with hard bristles and vigorous brushing can trigger dentin sensitivity by causing enamel loss. Temporary dentin sensitivity may also occur in patients who undergo dental surface cleaning.
Bruxism is characterized by patients clenching or grinding their teeth during the day or at night. Wear and cracks on teeth due to bruxism can lead to dentin sensitivity.
- Presence of cavities in teeth,
The progression of cavities in the structure of teeth, affecting the region where the pulp containing blood vessels and nerves is located, can cause sensitivity.
- Teeth whitening,
Temporary dentin sensitivity may occur after professional teeth whitening procedures.
In the Treatment of Dentin Sensitivity:
- Conducting a proper clinical examination and making an accurate diagnosis
- Reviewing tooth brushing habits, using an appropriate toothbrush to brush teeth at least twice a day, avoiding acidic foods and drinks before and after brushing
- Evaluating dietary habits, avoiding acidic foods
- Seeking dental care in the presence of bruxism and undergoing appropriate treatment to prevent progression
Additionally, using toothpaste developed for dentin sensitivity is recommended. In cases where sensitivity persists despite preventive measures, professional treatments can be applied by a dentist.