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Sensitive teeth

Causes of tooth sensitivity

Are you avoiding eating or drinking cold or hot foods and drinks, due to pain or sensitivity?

Sensitive teeth are one of the most common dental complaints we hear about in the practice. The pain suffered by many when eating anything cold of just breathing in the cold winter days can be very debilitating.

Tooth sensitivity is due to either the enamel, the outer/protective layer of the tooth, being very thin. Or the dentine, the underlying root surface, being exposed. These can result from many factors like over-brushing, gum recession, acid erosion or grinding, amongst other causes.

Unfortunately the dentine of our teeth is very porous and the hot or cold will pass straight through it into the nerve, causing sensitivity and in some cases sever pain.

As mentioned above, one of the reasons of teeth sensitivity is gum recession; over-brushing can cause this. An incorrect brushing technique can cause a lot of irreparable damage – if you press too hard and/or the brush bristles are in the wrong angel you are basically wearing away your teeth every time you brush. The bad news is that once the gum recedes it will never go back, the damage is done.

The right toothbrush and toothpaste for sensitive teeth

To prevent the gums receding or to stop them getting further down, we advise our patients to invest is a good rechargeable electric toothbrush. Unfortunately, not any electric toothbrush will do, so make sure that you get one with a “Pressure Sensor”. This will let you know when you are pressing too hard when brushing, limiting the potential for damage. A visit with the hygienist is invaluable, as they will teach you how to brush your teeth correctly.

The most common way to stop your teeth being sensitive is to change your normal toothpaste for one tailored to sensitive teeth. There are many in the market; but the ones we have tried and tested and recommend to our patients are “Repair and Protect” by Sensodyne or “Sensitive Pro-Relief” by Colgate. They both work by forming a protective barrier over the teeth, thus decreasing the degree of pain felt when eating or drinking hot or cold foods. It is worth nothing that most sensitive toothpastes take 2-3 weeks to make a difference, so please do not discontinue use or become disheartened if you don’t notice dramatic relief straight away.

In some cases, over years or neglect, no amount of specialist toothpaste will make a difference and the only way to provide the patient with relief is to put fillings on the teeth to protect them and prevent further wear. The filling will be the same shade as your teeth and can restore their aesthetics, making them look white and shiny again.

Hygienist Liverpool Street

If you are suffering from sensitive teeth, please don’t hesitate about making a hygienist appointment with us. During your consultation, we’ll find out what the root of the problem is so that we can begin an appropriate treatment plan and you can enjoy an ice cold drink again! We pride ourselves on giving you the first-class care you need to keep your smile healthy. You can book online via our contact form for a hygienist appointment in Liverpool Street or call us on 020 7377 6762.