Tooth sensitivity can affect people of all ages. It is usually a sharp, shooting pain triggered by eating or drinking something hot or cold, but sometimes cold air or tooth brushing can trigger it. It ranges from being mildly discomforting to outright painful.
Tooth sensitivity occurs when the protective enamel on your teeth away or when your gums recede down. This can be caused by:
- Brushing your teeth too hard and/or using a medium or hard-bristled toothbrush
- Enjoying highly acidic food or beverages like citrus food and drinks, wine, sports and carbonated drinks which can all erode the outer layer of tooth enamel
- Tooth decay, worn fillings, cavities or broken teeth which expose the dentin of your tooth
- Gum disease and receding gums that expose the root surface
- Tooth wear caused by grinding or clenching your teeth
If you are suffering from tooth sensitivity we recommend seeing your dentist in the first instance so they can assess your teeth and gums and diagnose what might be causing it. Since there are many causes, it’s important to work it out before deciding the best course of action.
Your dentist will recommend a tooth brush and any particular tooth pastes or products that will help. This may include a soft-bristled toothbrush, an electric toothbrush with a pressure sensor, or even a product like Tooth Mousse.
If grinding or clenching your teeth is a problem, your dentist can help make a custom-made nightguard to wear at night to protect your teeth from wearing down further. Nightguards, or splints, are thinner and more comfortable than sports guards and most people get used to them pretty quickly.
It is also important to think about your diet and reduce foods and beverages which may be contributing, especially those that are sugary and acidic.