The experience of sensitive teeth can vary from a mild twinge to severe discomfort that can last for several hours. Sensitivity can occur at any point in our lives, however, it is thought to be more common in those aged between 20-40. You are more likely to experience the sensitivity when you are exposed to food and drinks that are either very hot or cold, or too acidic or sweet.
At White Dental Rooms we recommend that you do not ignore the occurrence of prolonged sensitive teeth as it can be a sign of a more serious dental condition, and you should get a check-up.
What causes sensitive teeth?
The visible part of our teeth has a layer of enamel which protects the softer dentine underneath. However, if this dentine becomes exposed the tooth can become sensitive. This often happens where the tooth and the gum meet as the enamel layer is much thinner.
How does this occur?
- Your toothbrush.
Brushing your teeth too hard, or brushing from side to side can wear down the enamel and expose the dentine more easily. This is likely to happen along the gum line and it is important to brush teeth correctly.
- Gum recession.
This can be caused by bad brushing, but it can also occur either genetically, from gum disease, or from grinding your teeth. The gum tissue recedes and lowers its position on the tooth, exposing the root and causing sensitivity.
- Dental Erosion.
Eating too many sugary or acidic food can attack the teeth and cause holes known as cavities to form which can cause the tooth to feel painful and sensitive. If the hole is left untreated then not only will the pain continue, but the cavity may get bigger and the whole tooth may need to be extracted.
- Cracked teeth or fillings.
Chewing or biting something hard can cause a chip in the tooth that exposes the dentine, or a crack can form that runs down to the root of the tooth. If a filling has become loose or fallen out completely, then the exposed area will become very sensitive, especially when eating or drinking. It is important to make an appointment with your dentist straight away if you lose a filling.
- Teeth Whitening.
Some people will feel that their teeth are sensitive either during, or in the hours after having their teeth whitened, especially if they use low-quality ‘internet bought’ products or leave the treatment on too long. The product used can briefly make the enamel more permeable and can microscopically expose the dentin, but the tingling sensation caused by teeth whitening is usually temporary. Teeth whitening should only be done by a professional and with the correct products, at White Dental Rooms we will assess the suitability of your teeth before undergoing any whitening treatment.
How to prevent sensitivity?
- Prevention is the best form of treatment, and so looking after your teeth is vital. Brushing regularly and correctly, along with avoiding sugary and acidic foods will help to prevent and reduce sensitivity.
- There are many types of toothpaste available for sensitive teeth, and you should use the fluoride toothpaste twice a day to brush them. You can also rub the toothpaste directly onto any particularly sensitive areas.
- See your dentist. If you notice sudden sensitivity and pain, then this can be a sign of damage to the tooth and should be checked out as soon as possible. If you are suffering from mild sensitivity and have tried to treat it at home but is lasting for a few weeks without improvement, then you should also visit your dentist.
At White Dental Rooms we are experts in sensitive teeth and will give you a full check up to discover the cause of your sensitivity and provide the best course of treatment. Contact us to book your appointment.