Tooth Sensitivity

What can cause tooth sensitivity?

  • Worn tooth enamel from using a hard toothbrush or brushing with excessive force.
  • Tooth erosion as a result of highly acidic foods and beverages, bulimia or gastroesophageal reflux disease.
  • A cracked filling or tooth
  • Gum recession that leaves the root surface exposed. Consequently, the teeth can be more prone to sensitivity as the surfaces of the roots do not have an enamel layer to protect them.
  • Gum disease which can lead to loss of bone support around the teeth and pockets to form in the gums. Pockets can make the area difficult to keep clean and can accelerate the problem.
  • Tooth grinding. This involves clenching and grinding the teeth together which can cause the enamel of the teeth to wear away, making the teeth sensitive as a result.


Preventative measures

  • Use a toothpaste designed specifically for sensitive teeth- they work by building up a protective layer.
  • Ensure you are not brushing your teeth with excessive force.
  • Try to avoid too many acidic foods and drinks such as citrus fruits and sports drinks.
  • Remember to clean in between your teeth as well as brushing the outer surfaces. Interdental cleaning helps to reduce plaque build-up which can ultimately lead to gum disease or recession. There are different options of interdental cleaning aids such as flossing, TePes and floss picks. You can read through some of our latest blogs on helpful interdental cleaning tips and techniques.
  • Your dentist can help reduce the discomfort or pain by applying a fluoride varnish to the affected areas.
  • Your dentist can cover the affected root surfaces with a bonding agent which seals the surfaces and blocks exposure to the causes of the sensitive teeth.
  • If you are clenching or grinding your teeth, your dentist can have a mouth guard made for you. This helps to protect your teeth from damage and pressure and can help with treating pain in the jaw joint as well.

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