Sensitive Teeth: The Facts

 

  • What are sensitive teeth – pain and discomfort when eating or drinking or in general. The pain could last for a few seconds or for hours.

 

  • The cause – the enamel on the outside of our teeth cover softer dentine which is exposed when enamel wears down or erodes thus causing sensitivity.

This can happen by:

  1. Brushing too hard
  2. Enamel erosion
  3. Naturally receding gums
  4. Gum disease
  5. Tooth grinding
  6. Tooth whitening
  7. Broken teeth

 

 

  • How to avoid the pain – try to avoid cold or hot drinks if this is what triggers your sensitivity. If you have pain when brushing teeth, make sure to brush with a soft brush and don’t apply too much pressure. Remember – never stop brushing regularly or this could lead to more serious problems.

 

  • How can it be treated - if you experience mild discomfort you could use sensitive teeth toothpastes and see whether this helps or not. Many people experience relief at this point. If the pain does not subside you can visit your dentist and they can help you by treating the affected teeth with special ‘de-sensitising' products to help relieve the symptoms. Fluoride gels, rinses or varnishes can be applied to sensitive teeth. These can be painted onto the teeth at regular appointments to build up some protection. Sensitivity can take some time to settle, and you may need to have several appointments. If this still does not help, your dental team may seal or fill around the neck of the tooth, where the tooth and gum meet, to cover exposed dentine. In very serious cases it may be necessary to root-fill the tooth.

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