Chapter – 6 Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth Sensitivity is a common dental problem people encounter in their everyday life.Sometimes sensitivity will resolve simply by changing your brushing method,and sometimes it need a professional care. In order to understand tooth sensitivity, let us know about three words related to teeth sensitivity.

Tooth Enamel : White cap like layer of the tooth, it is the hardest part of the Human body . It has no nerves in it , helps to protects the Inner part of the tooth .


Yellow colored layer inside enamel, less dense compare to Enamel. It has special sensory nerve ending which can react to hot , cold and PH change .

Dentinal Tubules:

Tiny tube like structure present inside the dentin, which has nerve cells .

Causes and solution for Sensitivity Problems

  1. Tooth with dental decay – Dental decay will destroy outer enamel layer and expose the dentin will allow infection to spread inside the tooth
    • Solution – As soon you notice food getting struck, Get the tooth filled
  2. Tooth brush abrasion – People tend to use brush that contains hard bristles and people who spend more time in brushing (recommended time 2-3 minutes) remove the outer enamel coating over the period time.
    • Solution – Change brushing habit.Use soft bristles. Brush only 2-3 minutes
  3. Trauma – When the tooth are met with excessive force (like fall , fight , accidents) they can fracture,Excessive bite force like trying to open a bottle, biting hard seeds fracture the enamel.
    • Solution – Avoid biting hard substance.Use appropriate protective wear during sports activities.
  4. Attrition – As we age (40-50 yrs usage )tooth enamel wear down is common
    • Solution – Symptomatic tooth can be filled, Usage of sensitive tooth paste can give relief
  5. Tooth Grinding(Bruxism) – Some people tend to grind their during sleep or consciously during intense physical activities. This can make tooth wear down faster than normal.
    • Solution – Use of night guards during sleep and change of habit
  6. After dentsl treatment – Dental treatment like scaling and filling can make the tooth extra sensitive sometimes
    • Solution – Use of sensitives paste temporarily / height adjustment of filling can give relief
  7. Tooth with receded gums – When the gums are not in healthy state it can get receded which will expose the root of the tooth.Exposed tooth root can cause sensitivity
    • Solution – Periodic gum care every year , Desensitizing coating can be given on the tooth roots.

Can i use Sensitivity tooth Paste ?

There are hundreds of sensitivity toothpastes available in the Market . But sensitivity paste can only give temporary relief for the deeply seated dental problem .In the case of sensitive teeth due to minor abrasion and Attrition , long term use sensitive paste may be justified , otherwise their use should be restricted to 4-8 weeks.

Significance of Sensitivity

Sensitivity is a way of tooth telling us something is wrong with teeth ,similar to fever is a way of body is telling us something is not right. Subsiding the fever alone will not help likewise, We should diagnose the root cause of the tooth sensitivity and resolve it.

Seek help early , detect early and benefit from simple solutions.

Keep Smiling & Stay Happy

Dr. Gnanaraj Jayabal
Dental & Implant Surgeon
Denticare Chennai

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