Tooth sensitivity is experienced as a short sharp pain when consuming cold, sweet or acidic foods and drinks. It can also be experienced with an intake of cold air or by touching the tooth.
All About Tooth Sensitivity
Sensitivity happens when the dentine layer, the layer underneath the enamel, becomes exposed. The dentine layer of the tooth is composed of small tubules that move fluid in response to changes in the tooth’s external environment like when eating or drinking. These tubules connect directly with the pulp of the tooth which is where the nerve is located causing the sensation of pain.
The dentine layer can become exposed if the teeth have been brushed too hard causing the enamel layer to thin. Or if brushing has caused the gums to recede away from the tooth, exposing the cementum or the root surface of the tooth. It can also become exposed if a diet high in acidic food or drink or even reflux causes the enamel to dissolve
Treatment of sensitivity involves addressing the cause. It may mean switching to a soft toothbrush, using a lighter tooth brushing technique, or re-evaluating your diet. We always recommend a toothbrush should look fresh out of the packet despite months of use. If it’s a little worse for wear, please change it! Poor/overzealous brushing technique leads to gum recession and enamel abrasion.
Sometimes the use of a sensitive toothpaste can alleviate the symptoms, or a small filling is required to block the dentine tubules and protect from further damage.
A trip in to see us is always recommended as other causes of sensitive teeth can be caused by decay, grinding or clenching, cracks in teeth or leaking fillings.
Any questions? Can the friendly team at Tooth Dental help you with a sensitive teeth issue? Please click here to make an online booking or give us a call on 3366 1737. If you’d like to use our contact form for your enquiry please click here.