Although having sensitive teeth is a very common problem, few patients know how to treat tooth hypersensitivity.
How dentinal hypersensitivity appears
The main symptoms of tooth hypersensitivity are discomfort or intense pain of short duration as a reaction to thermal, mechanical and tactile stimuli.
It is usually felt by patients during chewing or during oral hygiene phases. A recent study has demonstrated that premolars are the elements most susceptible to hypersensitivity, while women between 50 and 59 are the most affected subjects.
The main causes of tooth hypersensitivity are:
- abrasion of the enamel;
- fracture or erosion of the enamel;
- abfraction (fracture of the tooth collar).
Scientific literature explains the phenomenon of tooth hypersensitivity with the hydrodynamic theory. The fluid present in the dentinal tubules in the presence of a thermal or mechanical stimulus causes a contraction of the nerve fibers inside the pulp of the tooth, generating pain.
How to cure tooth hypersensitivity
The two main treatments to treat tooth hypersensitivity are:
- home therapy;
- studio dental treatment.
A recent study published last year in the scientific journal Clinical Oral Investigations compared the effectiveness of home treatments with professional dental therapies.
In the clinical review, several methods for treating tooth hypersensitivity have been included, all compared to each other:
- use of chemical substances for the occlusion of the dentinal tubules (home);
- physical occlusion of the tubules (professional);
- low-level light therapy for tooth desensitization (professional).
Performing a study on clinical cases of dentinal hypersensitivity means relating to a preeminent subjective component. The perception of pain could therefore be different from one subject to another. To make the study more reliable, some patients were treated with a placebo.
To assess the sensitivity of the teeth, a compressed air jet was used on the affected dental elements.
Results on the effectiveness of methods to treat dentinal hypersensitivity
In particular, the most effective dental therapy has been considered photobiomodulation, ie the treatment with low level light.
The professional treatment with photobiomodulation involves the physical closure of the dentinal tubules, in this way the thermal and mechanical stimuli are not able to pass through dentin and pulp avoiding nervous contraction and therefore pain.
On the teeth is applied a gel based on fluoride and potassium nitrate which in contact with the light ray causes the vitrification of the dentinal tubules and the depolarization of the nerve.
The effect of desensitization is immediate and lasting over time.