The weather is getting hotter, and the sweats on our faces are testaments to the increasing
temperature. What’s the best way to fight the heat of the sun? A scoop (or scoops) of ice cream
on a sugar cone!
People love ice cream that it is no longer surprising that the sales of the sweetened frozen food
have amounted to 6.6 billion US dollars from May 2016 to May 2017.
According to the International Dairy Foods Association, more than 23 pounds of ice cream is
consumed by an average American annually.
Unfortunately, not everyone can enjoy the creamy, delectable, sweet, and cold scoop of ice
cream due to dentin hypersensitivity which records more than three million cases in the country
Dentin hypersensitivity is defined as a dental pain characterized by a sharp and short pain due to
the exposure of dentin surfaces as a response to thermal, evaporative, osmotic, chemical,
electrical, or tactile stimuli. Cold and heat can move to the nerves and cells within the tooth
when the enamel, which is the outer and protective layer of the tooth, wears out leading to the
exposure of the inner tooth layer.
The National Health Institute reported a 12.3 percent prevalence of dentin hypersensitivity
among patients, averaging 3.5 hypersensitive teeth.
The dental pain is also more common among ages 18 to 44 than senior patients ages above 65
years old. Women are more prone to the dentin hypersensitivity than men.
Dentin hypersensitivity can be caused by various factors including gum recession, hard brushing,
consumption of sugary and acidic foods, dental cavity, and teeth grinding which can wear the
enamel and expose the dentin.
Dentin hypersensitivity is easy to diagnose and often self-diagnosable as it is triggered by cold or
hot food and drink consumption. Aside from food consumption, breathing in cold air and
brushing can also prompt the dental pain. If these activities cause sharp pain which worsens with
pressure, there is a possibility that the teeth have dentin hypersensitivity.
Aside from being self-diagnosable, dentin hypersensitivity is also treatable within months. Upon
your dentist’s recommendation, there are a variety of treatments available including desensitizing
toothpaste, crown, inlay or bonding, fluoride gel, root canal, or a surgical gum graft.
A desensitizing toothpaste helps in blocking the spread of the sensation from the tooth surface to
the nerve through the compounds present in the toothpaste, while a fluoride gel strengthens the
enamel and prevent its wear, as well as, the exposure of the dentin and transmission of
A bonding, inlay, or crown repair a decayed tooth. On the one hand, a surgical gum graft reduces
sensitivity by protecting the tooth root. For severe and persistent dentin hypersensitivity, a root
canal may be recommended.
Also, preventive measures must also be taken to prevent severe cases of hypersensitivity. Proper
basic oral hygiene routine such as brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash is necessary to
fight off bacteria and protect the mouth against sensitivity.
A healthy diet is also vital in keeping the oral health in check. Avoiding sugary and acidic foods,
and opting for teeth-healthy foods such as carrots, cheese, celery, and apple will be helpful in
preventing bacteria from attacking the teeth and wearing the enamel.
Aside from these preventive measures, a consultation with a dentist is needed for the proper
diagnosis and treatment. Make sure to visit a dentist twice a year.