Dr. Shah: Hi Victoria, Welcome to the ask the doctor. What is your question?
Victoria (Patient): Gum sensitivity. Why do I actually get my gums inflamed?
Dr. Shah: Gum sensitivity and inflammation is a gums issue and usually, sensitivity is with the teeth, not with the gums. So, there are two parts, I’m going to take, the first part, which is sensitivity over here, and I’ll answer that so it doesn’t become a very long answer, And welcome to ask the Doctor, Victoria. The sensitivity of the teeth is very simple to describe. Your root surface of the tooth should be the teeth covered with gums. For any reason, when these gums recede, it could be because of aging, it could be because of gum disease, it could be because of your faulty brushing technique, or it could be because of using the wrong type of toothbrush, and i’ll explain to you all those things, and the gums recede and once the gums recede, the root surface gets exposed. Now the tooth does not have enamel which does not have a nerve, just like your hair and nail. When you cut your hair or nail, do you feel anything? Because there is no nerve there, but if somebody pulls the hair then you are touching the root and then you get sensitive, it feels. The same way on the tooth also, the outer tooth which is exposed above the gums is covered with enamel and enamel is a very strong substance or structure, and do not have a nerve see as you don’t feel any sensitivity if anything happens to the enamel, but when the gums recede, the root surface is exposed, root surface does have a nerve that is supposed to be covered with the gums and now it is not covering the gums. That’s why you have sensitivity. So, if you want to take care of sensitivity, there are two parts to that. One is prevention, so you’re going to prevent sensitivity for the future, and the second one will be the treatment. So, let’s see both of them. So, Number 1. How do we prevent gum sensitivity? Whatever the cause of the gum sensitivity, we can reverse that. Now number one, as I said, was age. Can we reverse the age up to a certain degree, yes, we can reverse age. Some people even at an older age look very young because they take care of their bodies. The same way, If you take care of your gums and all the cavities of the mouth. Then you will have less gum recession. Number 2, gum disease, you don’t have a choice but to get the treatment done, first and learn how to prevent the gum disease from the doctor or the dental office or hygienist, and then you will be able to control gum disease. Number 3, wrong brushing techniques. If you’re using your toothbrush incorrectly, then you are causing gum sensitivity. We have a correct way of brushing technique link to a video. In every operator, we have that and we’re going to put it on the website also. So, you can go on the website and see how to correctly brush your teeth and how to correctly floss your teeth. So you can go and visit the YouTube link And watch the YouTube video and then the last one is using the correct toothbrush. If you use a medium or hard toothbrush, chances are very high that you will damage your gums and you will have sensitivity. So, what you should do is, use a soft toothbrush always, with the correct brushing technique. Keep your mouth healthy, and go to the dentist regularly, so even if it’s a small issue, we will catch it and we’ll fix it before it escalates and become a bigger issue. So, these are the prevention part. Now about the therapy part, which is the treatment part. The treatment is divided into two different areas Also. One is at home and the other one is at the dental office. If it is a severe sensitivity. If it is a very badly decayed tooth, then either you have to have a filling done or a root canal or a crown done there in the dental office. That’s part of the prevention of sensitivity in the dental office. At home, this is an important part because a majority of the sensitivity will be controlled by home care. So, there are two different products available in the market. Desensitizing toothpaste or gel. You can buy it, Sensodyne is one of them. So, buy the toothpaste, now the way you brush your teeth, I mean the way you apply this desensitizing toothpaste is very important. So, this is the way you do it. You brush and floss your teeth first. Rinse your mouth, take a little toothpaste which is desensitizing toothpaste and rub it on the root surface around the gums for 30 seconds or a minute or so. Then leave it there for 30 minutes. Do not rinse your mouth. Don’t eat or drink anything. You can spit it out if the taste is not good, but don’t drink or rinse and then the best thing is you can do it at the last before you go to bed and just go to bed straight. Then this effect of desensitizing toothpaste will be the maximum and your gums or your teeth will be less and less sensitive. Thank you so much for asking this question.