Sensitive Teeth: Causes, Symptoms & Relief

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There’s no denying tooth sensitivity is torturous! Have you fallen victim to the sudden, crippling pain that can arise when enjoying some of life’s simple pleasures? Perhaps you were sipping your morning coffee, biting into an ice cream or even quenching your thirst with some ice-cold water. Whether it’s hot, cold, sweet or acidic, sensitive teeth sufferers can all agree that an average mouthful can turn unpleasant very quickly.

What is tooth sensitivity?

People who are suffering from the sudden tooth sensitivity often think  ‘ Why are my teeth sensitive?’.  It’s time to solve the mysteries surrounding sensitive teeth and get to the root of why this stinging sensation can appear so rapidly out of the blue. Let’s take a look at the facts and uncover what the best method of treatment is for sensitive teeth.

Dentin hypersensitivity is the painful sensation felt in the teeth after consuming hot, cold, sweet or acidic foods, or breathing in cold air. It is commonly referred to as teeth sensitivity, and it’s believed that over half the world’s population has fallen victim to sensitive teeth at least once.

What causes sensitive teeth?

Our teeth are covered with a strong layer of enamel, the hardest substance found in the human body. Underneath the enamel sits the root of the tooth, which is protected by a softer substance called cementum. It is the area between these two layers, the dentin, which can be the source of your toothache.

The dentin is filled with small canal-like tubules that lead to the nerves and cells inside the tooth. When these tubules are exposed to hot, cold, sweet, or acidic substances, the nerves send a painful signal.

Sensitivity can be caused by worn tooth enamel, exposing the dentin, or by receding gums. Enamel and cementum can deteriorate and gums can become exposed from a number of causes:
– Aggressive brushing
– Poor oral hygiene
– Periodontal diseases
– A highly-acidic diet
– Tooth decay
– DIY teeth whitening
– Plaque build up

Temporary tooth sensitivity can occur after certain dental treatments; however, this usually subsides within a few days. Ongoing sensitivity is most likely the result of worn tooth enamel and exposed roots.

Sensitive teeth symptoms

The discomfort from tooth sensitivity can be felt frequently, or it can occur every now and then. It is primarily triggered by:
– Hot, cold, sweet & acidic food or beverages
– Cold air
– Brushing teeth
– Mouthwashes

If any of the above cause you to feel discomfort or pain, there’s a good chance you are experiencing teeth sensitivity.

Sensitive teeth pain relief & management

The big question is, how on Earth do you stop sensitive teeth pain? While there is no instant fix, there are several measures you can take to avoid the onset of discomfort.
If you are regularly bothered by sensitive teeth symptoms, start by booking an appointment with one of our expert family dentists. Each case is unique, and we can best asses the cause and recommend the most effective form of pain management. It could be a simple fix, or a matter of dealing with a dental issue now, which could cause bigger problems in the future.
In the meantime, our dentists recommend using a desensitising toothpaste and a sensitive toothbrush. Try to avoid food and beverages that may trigger sensitivity, and use a straw to drink hot or cold liquids.

Preventing sensitive teeth

Prevention is key and being attentive to your smile can go a long way in combating sensitive teeth!

You should follow a consistent dental hygiene regime that includes daily brushing and flossing. Following a diet low in acidic foods and drinks can prolong the presence of enamel on your teeth, which protects the dentin.

Also, brush cautiously around gums using slow, circular motion, and trade your toothbrush in for a soft-bristled toothbrush. This will ensure your enamel and cementum stay intact! Taking care of your teeth can stop the onset of sensitivity, meaning you can continue to enjoy the food and drinks you love.

Grange Family Dental, Your reliable family dentists

Tired of enduring sensitive teeth?  Our friendly dentists are more than happy to help. We are family dentist If you have experienced sensitive teeth for the first time, or the pain is constant, we recommend checking in with us. Get in touch today to book your next appointment.

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