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Dental Hypersensitivity


Do you suffer from sensitive teeth, whether it is from eating, drinking, or something else?  There are some treatments that can help to ease the pain.  Read on to learn more.

What is Dental Hypersensitivity?

Dental hypersensitivity is a relatively common problem.  It may causes problems during eating, drinking, brushing teeth, and even when breathing.  Dental hypersensitivity is a short, sharp pain from the exposed dentin in teeth in response to stimuli.  The most widely accepted explanation for the cause of this is the hydrodynamic theory – when various stimuli cause a rapid outward flow of fluid contained in the dentinal tubules.  This fluid release creates a pressure change across the dentin that stimulates the nerve fibres and results in pain.

Risk Factors for Dental Hypersensitivity

Too much acid in the diet may be a risk factor for dental hypersensitivity.  These acids may come from citrus juices and fruit, carbonated drinks, wines, and ciders.  Other risk factors include toothbrush abrasion, chemical erosion, thin enamel, gingival recession, exposed dentin, tooth grinding, and eating disorders.

Treatments for Dental Hypersensitivity

Treatments for dental hypersensitivity include:

  • removing the risk factors by educating about dietary acids and other oral care habits
  • recommending different tooth brushing methods
  • recommending a desensitising agent for home use
  • applying topical desensitising agents professionally

The treatments can be invasive or non-invasive.  Invasive procedures include gingival surgery, application of resins, or a pulpectomy.  Non-invasive measures should always be considered first.

Laser therapy is another option for treating dental hypersensitivity.  The Erbium Yag laser can reduce tooth sensitivity in just one treatment although re-treatment may be necessary in time with some patients.  It is safe, simple, non-chemical, painless, and tissue-preserving.  Sensitivity can occur when the tiny openings in the dentine layer conduct hot and cold to the tooth’s nerve endings.  Scanning the laser across each sensitive tooth for about a minute fuses the opening closed, eliminating the sensitivity problem.

A desensitising toothpaste contains ingredients that reduce sensitivity by filling channels in the dentin.  A fluoride rinse can help to decrease sensitivity.  It is especially good people that have decay problems.  Keep your teeth clean by brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once.  Use a soft toothbrush.  Brushing with too much force and/or brushing with a hard bristled brush can actually damage the protective tooth enamel.

There are also some homoeopathic remedies that can help.  These include:

  • aconite – for teeth that are very sensitive to dry, cold wind
  • chamomilla – for teeth sensitive to warm drinks, coffee, and sensitive at night
  • coffea cruda – for convulsive grinding of teeth, and pain worse from menses
  • hypericum – for nerve pains, especially after dental work
  • lachesis – when pain extends to the ears
  • mag phos – for very cold or movement sensitive teeth where the pain moves from one tooth to another
  • mercurius sol – for teeth that feel tender and elongated
  • nux vomica – for very cold sensitive, boring or drawing pain, often with coldness or after strenuous physical labour
  • plantago major – for teeth that are very sensitive to movement



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