Dealing With Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth affect a lot of people; it can alter your relationship with food and drink and be extremely irritating.

sensitive teeth can ruin your day
sensitive teeth can ruin your day

It can feel anywhere between mild twinge to having severe discomfort that can last several hours. It is most common in people between the ages of 20 and 40; however, it can affect people in their early teens and when they are over 70. Tooth sensitivity is more common in woman than in men.

Sensitive teeth can be caused by enamel wearing away and the softer dentine it protects becoming exposed. Contact on this exposed dentine can create the feeling of sensitivity. Enamel can be worn down by toothbrush abrasion, brushing too hard can or from side to side can wear enamel away. Also; acidic drinks and grinding your teeth can wear away enamel, gums naturally receding can expose it, as can gum disease and whitening or bleaching your teeth can cause a short lived sensitivity.

cross section of a tooth
cross section of a tooth

Another Dentistry Show featured GSK (GlaxoSmithKline), a British pharmaceutical company, and they highlighted two leading toothpaste brands. Sensodyne and Pronamel are known for protecting and improving tooth sensitivity and in GSK’s lecture it was revealed that as many as 70% of sufferers consider that the sensations associated with dentine hypersensitivity took the pleasure out of eating and drinking. Furthermore, 33% of sufferers believe that dentine hypersensitivity makes them feel old.

Chart displaying how acidic or alkaline foods are
Chart displaying how acidic or alkaline foods are

When eating or drinking something cold or acidic and being in cold weather is when you are most likely to experience sensitivity and avoiding these foods and drinks is a good way to go to help your teeth. Other ways you can avoid it are:

• Brush your teeth in small circular motions with a sensitive fluoride toothpaste. Twice a day with one of them being last thing at night. Avoid brushing side to side.
• Don’t brush straight after eating
• Change your toothbrush regularly (every two or three months)
• Less sugary or acidic food and drink
• Discuss teeth grinding with your dentist
• Regular dentist visits
• Discuss with your dentists before whitening or bleaching your teeth

be gentle when you're brushing your teeth
be gentle when you’re brushing your teeth

From home you can use sensitive toothpaste to improve your situation, they can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to take effect. If after a considerable amount of time there has been no change you should visit your dentist for an examination. They will assess your teeth to find the cause, treat them and tell you the next steps. This could take several appointments as sensitivity can take a while to settle.

We hope this has helped you if you feel you are suffering from sensitive teeth!
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