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In Dentistry, What Is the Hydrodynamic Theory?

The hydrodynamic theory in dentistry posits that tooth sensitivity arises when fluid in tiny tubules within the dentin moves, stimulating nerves. This movement can be triggered by factors like temperature changes or acidic foods. Understanding this process is crucial for effective treatments. Curious about how this theory informs modern dental practices? Dive deeper into the world of pain-free smiles with us.
YaShekia King
YaShekia King

The hydrodynamic theory addresses the reasons for why some people’s teeth become responsive to stimuli such as hot and cold. This idea is based on what dental experts have observed during examinations of patients. According to researchers, the hydrodynamic theory emphasizes the importance of substances called enamel and cementum in preventing a tooth from becoming sensitive. It also highlights how exposure of a tooth material called dentin leads to sensitivity, which often is fleeting and requires the use of certain products for addressing the problem.

Experts in the dentistry field use the hydrodynamic theory to emphasize that enamel and cementum keep teeth from becoming overly sensitive. Dentin is the part of a tooth over which enamel or cementum is situated. Enamel constitutes the hardest tooth material and covers the crown, the part of a tooth that is visible in the mouth. Cementum covers the surface of the tooth root, which is embedded in bone. If dentin is not covered by these materials and becomes exposed due to a tooth defect, a patient experiences sensitivity.

Cementum covers the surface of the tooth root, which is only visible via X-ray.
Cementum covers the surface of the tooth root, which is only visible via X-ray.

Another aspect of this healthcare idea is that tubules make up the dentin and thus have an effect on the tooth sensitivity that an individual feels. When someone causes abrasion to a tooth — the wearing away of a tooth’s surface and surrounding gums by hard brushing — this can expose the dentinal tubules. If a dentist then uses an air and water syringe to clean the tooth surface, this forces fluid into the tubules. Meanwhile, eating a sour item can cause fluids to exit the tubules. The constant back-and-forth movement of the fluid inside the dentinal tubules and the change of pressure in the dentinal fluid causes tooth sensitivity, according to the hydrodynamic theory.

Enamel and cementum protect the teeth from becoming too sensitive to cold and heat, according to the hydrodynamic theory.
Enamel and cementum protect the teeth from becoming too sensitive to cold and heat, according to the hydrodynamic theory.

Pain associated with tooth sensitivity typically is very abrupt. The sensation a person feels in his or her tooth, based on the hydrodynamic theory, usually occurs only when a stimulus such as a blast of air is present. As soon as the cause of the sensitivity is removed, the pain has a tendency of subsiding.

Using products and procedures that target tooth pain represents a common way to target this particular type of oral issue. For instance, companies produce toothpastes that are specifically designed for people who suffer from tooth sensitivity. In addition, research has shown that laser therapy can be helpful for targeting the uncomfortable tooth sensations highlighted by the hydrodynamic theory.

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    • Cementum covers the surface of the tooth root, which is only visible via X-ray.
      By: Coronation Dental Specialty Group
      Cementum covers the surface of the tooth root, which is only visible via X-ray.
    • Enamel and cementum protect the teeth from becoming too sensitive to cold and heat, according to the hydrodynamic theory.
      By: Dan Race
      Enamel and cementum protect the teeth from becoming too sensitive to cold and heat, according to the hydrodynamic theory.
    • Dentin is the part of a tooth over which enamel or cementum is situated.
      By: Halfpoint
      Dentin is the part of a tooth over which enamel or cementum is situated.
    • Enamel constitutes the hardest tooth material, and is the part of the tooth that is visible.
      By: Syda Productions
      Enamel constitutes the hardest tooth material, and is the part of the tooth that is visible.
    • Pain associated with tooth sensitivity typically is very abrupt.
      By: chalabala
      Pain associated with tooth sensitivity typically is very abrupt.