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News: November 24, 2009

Aggressive Tooth Brushing The 1st Cause Of Tooth Pain

November 24, 2009

One in three dentists say that aggressive toothbrushing is the most common cause of sensitive teeth, according to a nationwide member survey conducted by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). Acidic food and beverage consumption was found to be the number two cause.

Sensitive teeth, or dentin hypersensitivity, is a common oral condition affecting approximately 40 million Americans of all ages. It is characterized by discomfort or sharp and sudden pain in one or more teeth and is often triggered by hot, cold, sweet or sour foods and drinks, pressure on the tooth, or even breathing cold air.

According to Van B. Haywood, DMD, aggressive toothbrushing and consuming acidic foods and beverages can lead to tooth sensitivity. This is because over time, they can wear down the enamel on your teeth and even your gums. "When the protective layer of enamel erodes or gum lines recede, a softer tissue in your teeth called dentin can be left exposed," explained Dr. Haywood. "Dentin connects to the tooth's inner nerve center, so when it is unprotected, the nerve center can be left unshielded and vulnerable to sensations, including pain."

While aggressive toothbrushing and acidic foods and beverages were found to be the most common causes of dentin hypersensitivity, the survey also revealed several other factors that can cause tooth erosion and contribute to the oral condition. These factors include certain toothpastes and mouthwashes, tooth whitening products, broken or cracked teeth, bulimia and acid reflux.

Out of the nearly 700 general dentists who responded to the survey, nearly 60 percent say that the frequency of tooth erosion has increased compared to five years ago. "Being able to detect tooth erosion in its early stages is perhaps the most important key to preventing dentin hypersensitivity," said Raymond K. Martin, DDS, MAGD. "Discoloration, transparency, and small dents or cracks in the teeth are all signs of tooth erosion and should be discussed with your dentist as soon as possible."

Fifty-six percent of dentists surveyed say that patients manage tooth sensitivity by avoiding cold foods and beverages. Another 17 percent say that patients avoid brushing the sensitive area of the mouth. "While these may seem like the quickest and easiest ways to prevent sensitivity, none of them will actually solve the problem," explained Gigi Meinecke, DMD, FAGD.

For those who are already affected by sensitive teeth, the AGD recommends these actions to help alleviate symptoms:


  • Switch to a desensitizing toothpaste - There are many brands of toothpaste made specifically for sensitive teeth.


  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush - When you use a hard-bristled toothbrush, you may be wearing away the enamel on your teeth or causing your gums to recede.


  • Practice good oral hygiene - Floss regularly and brush at least twice a day for two to three minutes. Hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle, brush gently in a circular motion, and hold the toothbrush in your fingertips rather than in the palm of your hand.


  • Avoid highly acidic foods and beverages - Make a conscious effort to limit your intake of highly acidic foods and beverages every day.

By AGD public relations department - media@agd.org. The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is a professional association of more than 35,000 general dentists dedicated to staying up to date in the profession through continuing education.



Archive issues: (50)

Archive list: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 [13] 14 15 16 17

November 8, 2009 | American Diabetes Association Launches Campaign to "Stop Diabetes"

How much do you know about diabetes? Many Americans do not know much about this disease that strikes someone every 20 seconds in the United States. That is one reason why the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has launched its "Stop Diabetes" campaign as part of American Diabetes Month.  According to the results of a survey conducted by the American Diabetes ...

November 7, 2009 | Strong Immune Response by Healthy Pregnant Women to H1N1 Vaccine

An ongoing clinical trial finds that healthy pregnant women have a strong immune response after receiving just one dose of H1N1 influenza vaccine. The trial, which began on September 9, is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health.  Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommend ...

November 6, 2009 | Salt and diet soda can both take a toll on kidneys

Research from Brigham and Women's Hospital shows that salt and diet soda can take a toll on our kidneys. Consuming a high salt diet and artificially sweetened drinks was linked to greater kidney function declines over an eleven year period.  Women participating in the Nurses' Health Study were examined to find the association between diet soda and salt on kidney function decline, and included 3000 ...

Archive list: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 [13] 14 15 16 17

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