Most people have experienced tooth sensitivity at some stage in their lives and the intensity can vary greatly. Cold, hot, acidic or sweet foods/beverages may set the teeth off. The sensitivity occurs because the nerves in the tooth are irritated by:
- Decay – bacteria inside the tooth
- Exposed dentine (2nd layer of the tooth) – gum recession
- Trauma – from clenching/grinding, accident
- Infected nerve – abscess
The most common type of tooth sensitivity that we see on a daily basis is caused by exposed dentine/root surfaces. Through grinding/clenching of teeth, periodontal disease and excessive tooth brushing, the gumline around the tooth can shift and recede. This exposes the root surface of the tooth, which does not have the protective enamel covering it and is therefore sensitive.
What can you do?
- Have regular dental examinations and cleans to ensure the cause is not decay or gum disease.
- Brush twice a day with a soft toothbrush (electric toothbrushes are great) and floss or use interdental brushes daily. Ask your dental professional to show you the correct technique.
- Reduce acid intake – check your diet for excessive fruit, juice, sports drinks, soft drinks, energy drinks, vinegar, wine.
- Check that you have an acid reflux problem.
- Chat to you dental professional about any grinding/clenching habits.
- Use a sensitive toothpaste regularly – some brands advise you to rub the paste into your teeth as well as brush with it!
- Use GC Tooth Mousse – a cream applied regularly that contains calcium, phosphates and fluoride.