Tooth sensitivity is a common name for dentine hypersensitivity. When your tooth is in contact to hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and drinks, you may experience sensitivity. Sensitivity arises as a result of dentin (second layer of a tooth) that contains thousands of tiny channels that run from the tooth surface to the nerve center of the tooth called pulp. The channels contain fluid and when exposed to hot, cold and acidic food or drink, the fluid in these tiny channels moves and irritates the nerves in the tooth, causing sensitivity or pain. It can also be caused by dentine on root portion of a tooth exposed due to receded gums. Gum recession can occur due to poor oral hygiene, systemic disease and also due to age factor. Some steps that can be taken to prevent tooth sensitivity include maintaining a good oral hygiene, use a soft bristled toothbrush, use of desensitizing toothpaste (containing amorphous calcium and phosphate, potassium nitrate, and strontium chloride), use of fluoridated dental products, avoid teeth grinding.
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