Tooth sensitivity is a common dental complaint and one that we see all regularly in our practice. According to statistics, sensitive teeth are most common in people aged 20 to 40, but you can experience it at any age.
Our teeth are made of four different types of tissue - dentin, enamel, cementum and pulp. The visible part of each tooth has a layer of enamel to protect the softer layer of dentin underneath. If this enamel layer wears away and the dentin is exposed, it leads to tooth sensitivity. This tends to happen mostly where the teeth meet the gums as the layer of enamel is thinner.
The pain of sensitive teeth
If you have sensitive teeth you will probably experience short, sharp pain after biting into or eating something cold, hot or sweet. You may also experience some sensitivity when you suck in cold air on a cold winter’s day. The pain can come and go and sometimes you’ll find it is worse than others, but there are a few things in particular that can make it worse:
1.Clenching and grinding your teeth
You might not be aware that you are doing this as most people clench and grind their teeth at night. Teeth grinding is often linked to stress or anxiety and can be more common in children and teenagers. When the teeth are ground together regularly it wears down the enamel on the surfaces where they meet, thus causing or exacerbating sensitivity.
2.Brushing your teeth too hard
In your quest to brush your teeth well, you may be brushing too hard and this can wear away your enamel. If you use a hard toothbrush, or brush too hard, particularly from side to side, you can wear away the thin enamel layer where the teeth meet the gums.
3.Regularly consuming acidic foods and drinks
If you eat or drink a lot of acidic foods and beverages such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, fizzy drinks and alcohol, you will gradually wear away the layer of enamel on your teeth, resulting in dental erosion and sensitive teeth.
Sensitive teeth treatment
If you have tried treating sensitivity at home but are still experiencing pain and irritation, why not book an appointment to come and see us about your sensitive teeth? Our dental team can talk through the discomfort you are facing and examine your teeth to find the best course of action.
When it comes to sensitive teeth treatment there are several things that we can do, including applying fluoride gels and varnishes which can be painted onto the teeth during a series of appointments to help build up protection.
We can recommend the best sensitive toothpaste to use to brush your teeth as well as advising on toothbrushes or toothbrush heads that are soft enough to not cause any further enamel erosion. We can also advise on the best tooth brushing techniques, so that you are not damaging your teeth by applying too much force or repetitive side to side brushing.
You may also find that an alcohol free mouthwash is more comfortable to use as it is less likely to irritate your sensitive teeth.
Contact us to book an appointment
If sensitive teeth are bothering you or you are due for a check up, call us on 020 7091 0677 or click here to book an appointment. We look forward to seeing you in our practice soon.