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Sensitive teeth: A complete guide

sensitive teeth

Do you suffer from pain or discomfort when your teeth are exposed to acidic food or beverages? Or perhaps that hot cup of tea or ice-cold frozen yoghurt is too much to handle?

If you suffer pain and discomfort with any of these types of food or drink, it’s probably down to the issue of sensitive teeth.

Sensitive teeth: The root causes behind the issue

If you are suffering from sensitive teeth you’re not alone. At least one in five adults suffer from the issue at some point in their lives – usually between the ages of 20 to 40.

The root cause of the discomfort is weakened, thinning enamel around the underlying dentin or the tooth – the layer that immediately surrounds the nerve.

As the enamel here gets weaker, there is less protection around the nerve – making it susceptible to pain and discomfort when in contact with particular conditions – hot, cold or acidic.

Also, as gums can recede over time, the underlying root surface dentin can become exposed – which again leads one to be vulnerable to the pain of tooth sensitivity.

The main causes of tooth sensitivity include:

  • Gum recession – This happens as you grow older but can also occur as a result of bad brushing.
  • Acidic beverages – We all know fizzy pop is bad for your teeth. It erodes the enamel over time, which eventually leaves dentin exposed.
  • Tooth grinding – This common night time habit may leave all your teeth feeling sensitive. If this is one of your bad habits it may be worth popping to see your dentist to get a gum shield fitted to wear at night.
  • Gum disease – One of the many symptoms of gum disease is gum recession.
  • Cracked tooth or filling – If the crack runs from the biting surface of a tooth down towards the root, extreme temperatures may cause discomfort.

Treating sensitive teeth

The treatment for sensitive teeth depends entirely on the root cause of the problem. For example, gum disease would require a very different approach to tooth grinding.

At AP Smilecare we’ll be able to take into account all your symptoms and carry out a thorough assessment of your teeth, identifying the right treatment for the problem.

In the meantime, it’s worth practising the following at home to make the condition more manageable:

Use a very soft bristle toothbrush and don’t brush too often. Twice a day is recommended.

Buy a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth, the special formulation should ease the discomfort you are experiencing.

Don’t brush your teeth too hard – this may actually lead to abrasion of the enamel and recession of the gums.

If you’re suffering with sensitive teeth, or you have any tooth-related issue that you feel is a cause for concern, get in touch with AP Smilecare today. Call us on 01254 297 000 to discuss the issue and book in for your dental consultation.

Do you suffer from sensitive teeth? If so, what actions and remedies have helped with the discomfort? Share your solutions in the comments below or tweet us @APSmilecare

Posted on: 1st May, 2015