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A Guide Tooth Sensitivity

Many people suffer with tooth sensitivity, and the reasons are varied. Some people feel discomfort when the air outside is cold and when they eat or drink something cool, whilst others have to endure the pain when they eat certain food products – chocolate for example.

Even though tooth sensitivity is not classed as an emergency, if the pain gets unbearable or you are worried that the sensitivity is getting worse over time, you should visit your dentist without delay and ask for an immediate appointment, as it could be a symptom of something more serious. Typically, people between the ages of twenty and forty are more likely to suffer sensitivity, with some people experiencing a mild form of discomfort that lasts for a few seconds, and others enduring sometimes intense pain for a more prolonged period.

There are many causes of tooth sensitivity and an appointment at the dentist will quickly determine what exactly is causing the problem; thus highlighting the importance of having regular check-ups.

Sensitive teeth – what can cause it?

As previously mentioned, there are many things that can cause, or result, in sensitive teeth, and you should be aware of these so that you can avoid them.

One of the things that can most certainly be avoided is brushing your teeth too hard – and this is one of the most common problems.

Many people think that in order for their teeth to be clean, they have to brush hard and for a long period of time, but this is certainly not the case. In actual fact, doing so could mean that you are doing more harm than good. If you use a tooth brush that is too hard or you are too forceful on the teeth and gums when brushing, you could unwittingly be wearing away the enamel on the tooth – which is the very thing that acts as a defensive shield. You also run the risk of making your gums bleed. The recession of the gum-line is also a concern, as is the possibility of exposing the root surface.

Sensitivity of the tooth does not have to be brought on by yourself. Some people experience temporary sensitive effects after dental treatment, such as the placing of a crown or a tooth extraction. This kind of sensitivity does not last long. Normally it will disappear after seven to ten days.  If it does not, it is highly likely that there is another problem that needs addressing, and this should be done immediately to stop it getting out of hand.

A cracked tooth can also lead to sensitivity of the tooth as well as surrounding teeth. The reason? If you have cracked your tooth, this will lead to inflammation of the nerve which will result in sensitivity, especially if you are eating and drinking, as biting down will trigger a little bit of discomfort.

Tooth decay and tooth erosion are two other causes. With regards to tooth decay, if a cavity has developed in a tooth because of decay, sensitivity will more than likely start affecting you because the tooth, to all intents and purposes, is exposed. A cavity in a tooth is a sign that decay has been present for a while and is caused by acid breaking through.

Grinding your teeth (bruxism) can also trigger sensitivity as rubbing the teeth together on a regular basis may result in the enamel of your teeth being worn away.

The after effects of teeth whitening are also known to cause a little bit of discomfort in some people and general ageing will also impact on sensitivity.

What can I do to stop the problem of sensitive teeth?

Sensitive teeth is a big problem for many people, and in some instances has a truly adverse effect on people’s day to day lives. Luckily, though, there are a few things that you can do to ease the discomfort.

One of the most recommended practices is to use a fluoride mouthwash daily, as this will have a positive impact on tooth enamel. Similarly, it is also recommended by us at Pearl Dental Clinic that you brush your teeth twice daily with toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth; this will also give the teeth a bit of protection. You should also floss regularly, as this is known to get into hard to reach areas and remove debris and food remnants that over time would result in decay. Staying on the theme of brushing teeth, it is also advised that you use an electric toothbrush.

If you grind your teeth on a daily basis and are worried about the effects that this is having, you should look into what a mouthguard can do for you. Mouthguards can stop the teeth coming together, which reduces abrasion and damage.

Finally, you need to reduce the amount of sugary treats you have and also look to reduce your intake of acidic food and drink.