Tooth sensitivity, often described by consumers as a "tooth twinge", "tooth ache" or "sore teeth" most frequently occurs when eating or drinking hot or cold food and drinks. You may also feel discomfort when consuming sweet or sour food and drinks, or when you brush your teeth and rinse with cold water. Many adults have only occasional tooth sensitivity. Some adults experience chronic pain. Tooth sensitivity may be an indication of an underlying dental problem. Please consult your dentist.
See "About Sensitive Teeth".
Underneath the tooth's protective enamel coating is a highly porous layer called "dentine". Thousands of microscopic tubules run through the dentine. Once dentine is exposed, nerves within the dentine tubules can become susceptible to triggers such as cold food or drinks and respond with a short sharp pain.
Brushing with a sensitivity toothpaste such as Sensodyne is one way to protect against sensitivity. Another is to avoid brushing too hard and to use a soft-bristled toothbrush specially designed for sensitive teeth. Taking good care of your teeth and seeing your dentist regularly can also help protect against conditions that contribute to sensitivity, such as gum disease, tooth decay and gum recession.
See "Preventing Sensitivity".
Sensitive teeth can be caused by gum recession, loss of enamel or damage to teeth and gums. Temporary sensitivity can be caused by cosmetic professional or at-home whitening treatments. Sensitive teeth can hurt as a reaction to:
· Cold foods or beverages
· Hot foods or beverages
· Sweet or sour (acidic) foods
· Plaque and bacteria
· Chemical stimulus
· Dry mouth
See "Sensitivity Triggers".
Yes. Sensitive teeth affect many people and can start at any time. Sensitive teeth may affect younger people as a result of changes in modern lifestyles and eating habits. As we consume more acidic food and drinks and snack more often during the day, we are more at risk of developing sensitive teeth.
Often, tooth sensitivity is nothing more than a nuisance. However, sensitive teeth may indicate an underlying dental problem requiring prompt care by a dentist. See your dentist as soon as possible for advice.
Yes. Brushing too hard can lead to receding gums. Over time, it can also lead to wearing away of the tooth, which is another way dentine becomes exposed, causing sensitivity.
See the Pronamel Gentle Toothbrush.
Tooth whitening treatments are becoming increasingly popular. Typically, the ingredients in the products used for whitening are hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These are usually administered through a specially made tray (similar to a gum-shield). As the whitening agent is broken down, oxygen gets into the enamel on the teeth and the tooth colour is made lighter. Tooth sensitivity is widely recognized as being associated with tooth bleaching procedures. There is no exact science to predicting if you will experience sensitivity but reports suggest that up to 80% of patients using bleaching will experience some sensitivity. Be sure to discuss this with your dentist prior to any treatment
M Junaid Tahir
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