Tooth sensitivity is a common problem in people of all ages. It is usually a sharp, shooting pain triggered by eating or drinking something hot or cold. It can also be triggered when brushing or flossing your teeth or even breathing in very cold air. It ranges from being mildly discomforting to outright painful. Some sufferers can experience a lot of stress and anxiety about even routine dental appointments because of their sensitive teeth.
Causes of Teeth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity occurs when the protective enamel on your teeth wears down, usually due to factors such as:
- Brushing your teeth too hard and/or using a hard-bristled toothbrush
- A love of highly acidic food or beverages like citrus food and drinks, wine, sports and carbonated drinks which can all erode the outer layer of tooth enamel
- Tooth decay, worn fillings, cavities or broken teeth which expose the dentin of your tooth
- Gum disease and receding gums that expose the root surface
- Tooth wear caused by habitually grinding or clenching your teeth (bruxism)
- Some tooth whitening products which contain hydrogen peroxide or abrasive bleaching agents
Treatment for Sensitive Teeth
If you are suffering from tooth sensitivity we recommend seeing your dentist in the first instance so they can assess your teeth and gums and diagnose any underlying conditions that may be contributing to your symptoms.
Your dentist can recommend a tooth brush and any particular products that will suit your needs and in particular not exacerbate your sensitivity. This may include a soft-bristled toothbrush, an electric toothbrush with a pressure sensor, or even a product like tooth mousse that helps to prevent further damage.
If grinding or clenching your teeth is a problem, your dentist can develop a custom-made nightguard to wear at night to protect your teeth from wearing down further. Nightguards, or splints, are thinner and more comfortable than sports guards and generally don’t take very long to get used to sleeping in.
Check your diet and cut back on foods and beverages which may be contributing, especially those that are sugary and acidic. This will be great for the health of your teeth and gums too.
Please contact us if sensitive teeth are an issue for you. We can conduct an assessment and provide a range of treatment options to meet your needs.