Are you suffering from tooth sensitivity?
Do you dread drinking hot coffee, or wince at the thought of ice cream? If you are, you could be one of the many people suffering from tooth sensitivity. It’s a common dental issue, however, for some individuals, it can overshadow the simple joy of eating and drinking. Let’s take a deeper look at tooth sensitivity and how you can reduce your discomfort.
Why do you get sensitive teeth?
Your teeth have a protective hard outer layer called dentin. It’s located inside the crown and when the enamel is damaged the tiny nerve endings that trigger pain when exposed to hot or cold temperatures. Tooth sensitivity can also be triggered by an exposed tooth root.
How to know if you have tooth sensitivity
If you experience discomfort or pain when you eat or drink cold or hot food or beverages, there’s a big chance you are experiencing tooth sensitivity. It’s one of the most common dental issues and one that we see a lot of here at The Practice West End.
What causes teeth to become sensitive?
There are a few dental issues that can cause your teeth to become sensitive, including:
- Worn enamel: When the enamel on your teeth is worn down due to eating or drinking acidic food and drinks.
- Gum recession: Gums shrinking away from your teeth can expose tooth roots that are only covered in cementum. This isn’t as strong as enamel and can wear away exposing the dentine.
- Teeth grinding (bruxism): Teeth grinding or clenching while sleeping can weaken the tooth structure and cause tooth sensitivity.
- Dental treatment: Sometimes teeth can be more sensitive after dental treatment. It can happen after professional teeth cleaning or other treatments such as fillings, crowns and teeth whitening.
How to care for sensitive teeth
There are a few ways to care for sensitive teeth, including:
Dental treatment: When tooth sensitivity is caused by tooth decay or dental fillings that are wearing down, you should seek dental treatment as soon as possible to reduce discomfort. If left untreated, the sensitivity can worsen. If tooth sensitivity is caused by teeth grinding, a visit to the dentist and a mouthguard may help to reduce your discomfort by reducing the damage caused by teeth grinding.
Some treatment options for sensitive teeth may include bonding resin, fluoride treatment, fillings or root canal treatment.
Sensitive toothpaste: Certain toothpastes are specifically designed for sensitive teeth. These desensitising toothpaste has ingredients that help to soothe the nerves and act as a barrier on the dentine to reduce sensitivity. Sensitive toothpaste will not help if the sensitivity is caused by tooth decay, you will need dental treatment.
How to prevent sensitive teeth
Thankfully, there are many ways you can prevent tooth sensitivity, including:
- Maintain good oral hygiene at home. Brush your teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste and floss regularly.
- Attend regular dental appointments. At The Practice, we recommend a dental check-up every six months to ensure your teeth are well-cared for.
- Don’t brush your teeth too hard and use a soft toothbrush.
- Limit the amount of acidic and sugary food and drinks, and don’t brush your teeth after eating/drinking – wait at least an hour.
- Opt for plain water and avoid adding lemon to your water as this can lead to tooth erosion and tooth sensitivity.
Treating tooth sensitivity at The Practice South Brisbane
Experiencing tooth sensitivity?
Our dentists in West End can help you manage tooth sensitivity. We’ll provide you with expert advice and offer treatment options to reduce your discomfort and manage tooth sensitivity. Book an appointment online or call 07 3733 3223 to speak with our friendly reception team.