If you experience shooting pain in your teeth, especially when you consume cold food or drinks, you may suffer from tooth sensitivity.
In this article, we explain the causes behind this uncomfortable condition and what solutions are out there to help relieve it.
What causes tooth sensitivity?
Teeth usually become sensitive when dentine, the middle layer of the tooth, is exposed because of damage to the enamel.
Dentine has lots of small holes that connect to your tooth’s nerve. When the nerve is irritated, you feel it as pain or an uncomfortable sensation.
Sensitivity can happen if:
- You have a broken or cracked tooth
- You have a cavity that needs a filling
- Acidic food or drink has eroded your tooth enamel
- You have receding gums, which means the root of your tooth is exposed
- You have had teeth whitening, which may damage your enamel if not carried out properly
- You grind your teeth and have worn away the enamel
- You have a medical condition like gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), where acid travels upwards from the stomach and oesophagus and wears away tooth enamel
What triggers tooth sensitivity?
You may experience tooth sensitivity when having a hot drink or eating sour or sweet items, or you may have tooth sensitivity to cold food or drinks like ice cream.
It can also happen if you bite down hard on something or even when you breathe in cold air.
If you have had dental care like a filling or crowns fitted, the affected tooth or teeth may feel sensitive afterwards. In this case, the feeling usually goes away in time.
How can I avoid tooth sensitivity?
One of the best ways you can avoid tooth sensitivity is to visit your dentist regularly for a checkup to maintain your dental health. This means they can identify any problems early on and treat them before sensitivity develops.
If you do notice any issues like cavities or cracks, go and see your dentist for treatment before sensitivity and other problems arise.
If you want to have teeth whitening, have it done by your dentist to ensure it is carried out properly.
Avoid fizzy, sugar and acidic food and drinks, which can erode your tooth enamel.
Use a soft toothbrush and use gentle circular movements to brush your teeth to avoid damaging enamel.
What should I do if I have tooth sensitivity?
If you’re suffering from tooth sensitivity, the best thing to do is go and see your dentist, who will be able to offer advice and treatment. If there’s a problem, like a cavity that needs filling, they can fix this for you.
They may also offer a fluoride varnish, gel or rinse, which can build up the protective layer of your teeth.
Your dentist can also give advice about desensitising toothpaste and alcohol-free mouthwash for you to use at home.
Got tooth sensitivity issues?
If you experience tooth sensitivity, there’s no need to suffer in silence. Come and see us at Opal Dental. We offer a full range of dental care services, including helping you with tooth sensitivity.
When you come and see us, your friendly dentist will examine your teeth, look for any underlying issues and suggest some treatment options.
So why not make that appointment and start looking forward to a healthy mouth and pain-free teeth today?