Sensitive teeth can strike anyone at any time…
Who suffers from sensitivity and when is it likely to occur?
Sensitivity can start any time and is an all too common problem. Typical signs include the symptoms you mentioned, as well as noticing the sensitivity when you breath in cold air that catches on your teeth. Some also experience sensitivity with sweet or acidic food and drink.
What causes sensitivity?
The tooth is made up of different parts. The visible teeth we can see are covered by a layer of enamel which protects softer dentine underneath. If the enamel is worn away, the dentine is exposed and the tooth can become sensitive.
The following factors contribute to sensitivity occurring:
• Toothbrush abrasion – caused by brushing too hard, or using the wrong brush or incorrect technique.
• Dental erosion – enamel is lost through acid attack on your teeth from acidic food and drinks.
• Gum recession – gums may naturally shrink back with age, be pushed back through aggressive tooth brushing. It makes the roots become exposed, making them more sensitive.
• Teeth grinding – this problem is often stress related and can involve clenching and grinding the teeth together, possibly during sleep when you are least aware of it. This can cause the enamel of the teeth to be worn away.
• Cracked tooth or broken filling.
How can sensitivity be treated?
These things rarely go away by themselves, so inform your dentist of your sensitivity as soon as possible. He or she will give you advice on the appropriate treatment and show you tooth brushing techniques. There are many brands of sensitive toothpaste on the market designed to help ease the pain of sensitive teeth. It is recommended that you use these toothpastes twice a day or rub them directly onto sensitive areas. Your dentist or hygienist can advise you on which type of toothpaste is best for you, so remember to ask if they have samples at the practice for you to try.