Tooth sensitivity is a common issue, which can really put a downer on your day and spoil your fun when it comes to eating out or grabbing a refreshing rink at the end of a long day at work. With winter around the corner and the promise of indulgent hot drinks and warming puddings, now is the perfect time to get those sensitive teeth sorted for good.
About tooth sensitivity
Sensitivity is a very common problem and most people notice it when they eat or drink something very hot or cold or their teeth are exposed to very cold air; you may also experience pain when you eat something with a very sharp or acidic flavour. Pain can range from mild to severe.
Sensitivity is caused when the nerves become exposed; the nerve tissue is found in the dentin section of the tooth, which lies underneath the hard, outer enamel coating. When the protective enamel layer is damaged or it becomes weak or worn, the dentin and the nerve cells are exposed and this is why you feel pain. Common causes of enamel wear include acid erosion, injury and poor oral hygiene.
Sensitivity can also be a sign of dental infection or decay.
When do I need to see a dentist?
If you’re suffering from sensitivity on a regular basis or you have severe pain, it’s best to see your dentist as soon as you can. If your tooth is decayed or you have signs of infection, the earlier we can treat the tooth, the better. You may need a filling, for example, and the sooner we do this, the sooner you will be pain-free and the lower the risk of an infection spreading through the tooth.
To reduce the risk of sensitivity, we recommend avoiding sugary and acidic foods and drinks between meal times, waiting an hour before brushing the teeth after eating and visiting your dentist for regular check-ups. We also strongly advice you to keep up a good daily oral hygiene regime at home and to use sensitive toothpaste, which will help to alleviate any pain and provide protection against sensitivity in the future.