Many people experience tooth sensitivity to some degree. Some may naturally have more sensitive teeth than others, but if you are experiencing pain when brushing your teeth or drinking hot or cold water, it can mean something is wrong, so it’s best to discuss this with your dentist. We can help you figure out what’s going and ways to help ease the pain.
Why do my teeth feel sensitive?
Tooth sensitivity varies from person to person. You might experience pain quickly or it could be a gradual process. It can effect just one or several of your teeth and the pain can be mild or chronic. It’s quite natural for teeth to be sensitive to a degree. Everyone has bitten straight into an iceblock and experienced that sharp, cool shock on your teeth, but it’s when this is occurring for simple, everyday tasks. Some triggers of sensitive teeth include:
-eating or drinking something hot, cold, sweet or acidic
-breathing cold air
-brushing or flossing your teeth
-using a mouthwash
What causes sensitivity?
There’s a protective layer on your teeth, called enamel. When this enamel wears away, the sensitive inner layer of a tooth is exposed. Once damage continues and reaches the inner parts of your teeth, serious pain and sensitivity can occur.
- tooth decay caused by bacteria in plaque
- tooth erosion from acidic food and drink, vomiting or reflux
- chips and cracks in teeth
- gum disease or receding gums exposing tooth roots
- brushing your teeth too hard or using a hard bristle toothbrush
- teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism)
- damaged fillings, crowns or other dental work
- sensitivity following a dental treatment (usually temporary)
- side-effect of cosmetic treatments such as dental veneers or teeth whitening
If you are experiencing sensitivity, it’s best to come into our Greenslopes clinic for a checkup. We can examine your teeth and determine the cause of the problem. From here we can also provide the best solution.
How can I avoid tooth sensitivity?
In the meantime, some ways of reducing tooth sensitivity involve working with your routine and habits. Doing some of these can help reduce sensitivity before you come to us for your checkup:
- avoiding overly hot, cold, sweet or sour food and drinks
- brushing and flossing your teeth more gently
- swapping your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head for one with softer bristles
- using toothpaste specially designed for sensitive teeth
Seeing a dentist when you have sensitive teeth
Whilst we are professional and we will take good care of your teeth, it’s best to let us know that you are worried about your tooth sensitivity. This way we can ensure that we don’t cause any discomfort or pain and we can find the source of the problem. Some remedies may include:
- restoring worn or damaged teeth using fillings or crowns
- gum disease treatment to remove bacteria from your gums
- root canal therapy to remove infected tooth pulp and seal the tooth
- teeth grinding treatments such as a mouthguard to stop you grinding at night