• Tooth Sensitivity


A sensitive tooth (also referred to as Dentine Hypersensitivity) is a common dental problem that is characterised by mild to severe pain or discomfort after a bite of cold or hot substances. Although a similar painful sensation can be felt when there is a presence of cavities in the teeth, people with sensitive teeth are prone to it.

Sensitive teeth can manifest as mild twinge to severe discomfort, which could last for several hours. The sensitivity of the teeth can also be a warning sign of a more severe dental problem.

Who Are At Risk Of Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity affects all age groups and can start anytime. It is, however, prevalent among people who fall between 20 and 40 years of age. We cannot rule out the fact that it can affect teenagers and the elderly who are over 70 years of age. 

Also, tooth sensitivity is prevalent among women than men.

What Are The Major Causes Of Sensitive Teeth?

Anatomically, a hard layer of enamel protects the dentine that is underneath the tooth. Tooth sensitivity occurs when the underneath dentine becomes exposed. The following are the major causes of tooth sensitivity:

  • Tooth grinding: This is a habit that involves simultaneous grinding and clenching of the teeth. This would consequently lead to thinning and wearing out of the enamel, making the teeth sensitive to hot or cold temperatures.
  • Toothbrush abrasion: When you brush your teeth too hard, or from side to side, you are likely to cause damage to your enamels. The enamel can wear out, especially at points where the teeth and the gums meet. This would lead to the exposure of the dentine.
  • Dental erosion: This is the loss of enamels due to the consumption of acidic drinks and food. Once the tooth enamel wears out, the dentine becomes exposed consequently leading to tooth sensitivity. When this occurs, the gums might become affected and naturally shrink while the exposed roots will grow highly sensitive.
  • Gum disease:The shrinking of the gum can occur due to the accumulation of tartar or plaque. Pockets and cavities can develop inside the gums, destroying the bony support of the teeth. To keep the mouth clean and healthy becomes difficult.
  • Tooth bleaching: This treatment can cause tooth sensitivity in some patients. It is, therefore,vital to discuss the side effects and risks associated with tooth bleaching with your dentist before you proceed with the treatment.

When Am I Likely To Experience Tooth Sensitivity?

There is a higher chance of you experiencing tooth sensitivity when you drink or eat cold or hot substances. You can also feel the sensitivity when you consume acidic meals or drinks. The severity of the pain varies from time to time.

What Triggers Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity usually occurs as a response to specific triggers. The following are common triggers of sensitive tooth:

  • Acidic foods, fruits, and beverages
  • Hot meals and drinks
  • Cold meals and drinks
  • Coldwater
  • Hard brushing of the teeth
  • Alcohol-based mouthwash
  • Cold air
  • Sugary foods and beverages.

What Should I Avoid?

You need to avoid any food or drink that can cause your teeth to twinge in pain. If you feel sensitivity whenever you take cold, hot, acidic or sweet food, you need to avoid them.

If you always experience sensitivity when you brush your teeth with cold water, you should substitute it with warm water. You should also brush your teeth regularly to prevent the condition from becoming worse.

Do I Need To Visit A Dentist?

There is a need for you to visit your dentist if you experience tooth sensitivity for a couple of days without improvement. You can as well walk into our dental clinic today in London to speak with one of our experienced dentists.

What Treatments Are Available For Tooth Sensitivity?

When you visit the dental clinic, the dentist will discuss your symptoms. Your dentist will examine your mouth to assess your teeth for possible causes of sensitivity. This will aid in choosing the most appropriate treatment for you.

Your dentist will also prescribe toothpaste and mouthwash, which are specifically for sensitive teeth. These kinds of toothpaste and mouthwash contain no irritating ingredients. They are made with desensitising substances to help stop the discomfort of the teeth. Avoid alcohol-based mouthwash because of irritation. Also, use softer toothbrushes on your teeth.

There might be a need for your dentist to apply fluoride gels or varnishes on your teeth every two or three weeks. In some severe cases, your dentist may fill or seal the neck of the tooth to cover the exposed dentine.

Are There Home Remedies For Sensitive Teeth?

Usually, the best way to treat sensitive teeth at home is by using fluoride toothpaste. With many brands of fluoride toothpaste in the market, you can choose the product that suits your needs and budget.

How Can I Prevent Tooth Sensitivity?

  • Reduce the amount of sugary, fizzy, and acidic foods and drinks you consume. You can take them only at mealtimes.
  • You should discuss with your dentist if you grind your teeth. You might be advised to wear a mouth guard at night.
  • Change your toothpaste regularly, at least every two months.
  • Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at night before you retire to bed. You should use toothpastes that are specifically for sensitive teeth.
  • You should brush your teeth with a soft-bristled brush in small, circular movements.
  • Do not brush your teeth immediately after a meal because certain foods and drinks are capable of softening the enamel. You should wait for about an hour after meal before you brush your teeth.
  • You should discuss with your dental team before you opt for teeth bleaching.
  • Always visit the dental clinic regularly.

Need More Information?

Do not hesitate to contact us on 020 71830755 to speak with our dental team. You can also visit our dental clinic in London to find out more about the available treatment options for sensitive teeth.