Desserts, something we look forward to after every meal. Think ice-creams, pastries, pudding, chocolate and cookies, can you ever say no to them? But sometimes pampering your sweet tooth comes at the cost of a little pain. Halfway through enjoying a spoonful of your favourite ice-cream, you experience a sudden sharp sting shoot through your teeth. Tooth Sensitivity is this twinge of pain one experiences when food which is too cold, hot, sweet or sour touches your teeth. It is a sensation that only lasts for a few seconds, which most of us write off as a normal and temporary ailment and fail to take preventive actions.
There are many misconceptions about tooth sensitivity. For a start, many people don’t know what tooth sensitivity is. And those who do know about it seem to misconstrue certain facts like – sensitivity affects only when you eat cold sweets, it is caused because of cavities alone… So let’s bust 5 myths revolving around tooth sensitivity and get some facts straight
Myth #1: Only cavities cause tooth sensitivity
Fact: Cavities are one of the causes of Tooth Sensitivity but not the only cause. Tooth sensitivity occurs when the tooth enamel erodes or wears off gradually, exposing the softer tissue below called dentine. Dentine is directly connected to the nerve endings and when it is agitated it elicits sharp jolts of pain. Tooth enamel can wear off due to many reasons besides cavities – like brushing too hard, teeth grinding, gingivitis, receding gums etc.
Myth#2: Only cold sweets like ice cream can trigger tooth sensitivity.
Fact: When unprotected dentine comes in contact with any food which is hot, cold, sweet or sour, it can trigger the nerves and cause the sudden piercing sensation in your teeth.
Myth#3: It is ordinary for teeth to hurt when you eat hot, cold or sour food.
Fact: It is not common to suffer from tooth sensitivity. The symptoms usually indicate some underlying ailments like tooth decay, gum diseases, worn out fillings…
Myth#4: You don’t need to seek treatment for tooth sensitivity
Fact: Since the underlying causes of sensitivity can be a number of dental ailments like gum diseases, cracked tooth, decay; you do need to take preventive action soon. If left untreated, these can lead to major diseases like infection, swollen and bleeding gums, gingivitis. The best and fastest way to fix this problem is to get professional advice from your dentist. Depending upon the severity of the problem your dentist will be able to give you an early and appropriate treatment before these small symptoms can become larger complications.
Myth#5: There is no cure for tooth sensitivity
Fact: Tooth sensitivity can be easily treated. It is always recommended to see your dentist if you see the indications of sensitivity. Depending on the cause of the sensitivity your dentist can recommend special desensitizing tooth paste or other treatments. But maintaining good oral hygiene is also equally important. Brush your teeth twice and floss at least once daily. Here are a few things you can you should take care of:
• Use soft bristle toothbrush
• Don’t brush too hard. It will wear out the enamel faster.
• If flossing with string floss leads to bleeding gums, use water flossers instead like Oracura's water flossers for gentle and effective cleaning.
If you still think tooth sensitivity isn’t a big problem, which it is temporary and can be neglected, think about a lifetime of depriving yourself of your favourite ice cream or mornings without a refreshing cup of coffee / tea. If a migraine or back ache doesn’t go unnoticed, then why should pain in your teeth be neglected? Particularly when with proper care and early treatment, tooth sensitivity can be preventable.