Dental Problems

Dentin Hypersensitivity -What causes Dentin Hypersentivity

Dentin hypersensitivity

It is defined as a short, sharp pain arising from exposed dentin to external stimulus. This hypersensitivity is triggered by a stimulus that is thermal, tactile, evaporative, osmotic, or chemical in nature.

What is dentin

A calcified tissue just below the enamel of the teeth is known as dentin. It is one of the four major components of teeth, others being enamel, cementum and pulp.

Mechanism of dentin hypersensitivity

The mechanism of dentin hypersensitivity can be explained by the hydrodynamic theory. The fluid within the dentinal tubules can flow inwards or outwards depending on the conditions surrounding the teeth. Any hard stimulus that affects the open tubules of the dentin surfaces causes fluid movement, resulting in pain. Some of the common stimuli include foods and beverages that are extreme hot, cold, sweet, or sour.

Here are a few factors that contribute to dentin hypersensitivity


Any extreme dietary habits can predispose dentin hypersensitivity. Habitual ingestion of acidic foods and beverages may effectively strip away tooth layer and cause dentin hypersensitivity.

Bad Brushing Habits

: Overzealous brushing or brushing with hard bristles causes gingiva to recede. They expose the softer sub-gingival cementum. Some people tend to brush the front surfaces of teeth more zealously which make them prone to dentin hypersensitivity.

Tooth Grinding:

Grinding of teeth wears down the enamel on teeth, exposing the dentin. People with this wearied habit find themselves with dentin hypersensitivity soon.

Stomach Acid Disease:

Dentin hypersensitivity can be the result of nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux disease. In this condition, the stomach acid reaches teeth and damages the layer. It also prevents re-mineralization of teeth.


Women are more prone to dentin hypersensitivity than men.


Generally it is seen in late twenties, thirties or forties when the dentin becomes more toiled.

Other factors include using smokeless tobacco and teeth disorders such as periodontal disease.

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