Don’t be so sensitive!


Do you suffer from sensitive teeth?

Sudden and intense dental discomfort can come at you from anywhere!

Hot drinks, cold ice-cream, fizzy drinks or even (sadly) a crisp glass of white wine.

Reasons that teeth can become sensitive

· Early tooth decay or a leaky filling

This type of pain is sharp and be brought on especially by hot, cold and sweet food or drink.

· Gum recession

If your gum levels shrink, the “necks” of your teeth become exposed to the foods and drinks that you consume.

The enamel of your teeth is very thin at the gum level so your teeth become very sensitive if this area is exposed.

Gum recession is an age thing: one of the many wonderful changes to our bodies as we get older(!). It’s where the term “long in the tooth” comes from as shrinking gums make teeth look longer.

Other causes of gum recession include gum disease and poor tooth brushing technique.

· Excessive tooth wear

“Dietary erosion” is common in teens and young adults through excessive consumption of fizzy drinks. The outer layer of enamel is dissolved away (permanently) causing sensitivity problems.

Prolonged night time tooth clenching and grinding can also cause enamel to be worn away.

· Broken tooth or filling

This can cause sensitivity and may be worse when biting down on something.

How to manage your sensitive teeth

1. Keep your regular dental appointments

As sensitivity may be due to tooth decay or problems with fillings, small problems can become very large problems if not nipped in the bud.

Regular preventative advice from your dental team will go a long way to preventing tooth decay and gum disease from getting a foot hold in the first place

2. Use a careful tooth brushing technique

Use a medium-bristled brush ( and get a new one every 3 months) with small circular movements. Avoid aggressive side-to-side brushing. If you have sensitivity to cold, try using warm water to brush with.

3. Avoid whatever brings it on!

Keep sugary drinks and snacks to a minimum to reduce the risk of decay. Avoid fizzy drinks especially between meals. Let your ice-cream or cup of tea stand for five minutes!

4. Special toothpastes

Products such as Sensodyne™ contain ingredients that can make the dentine (= second layer) of your teeth less sensitive.

5. You may need professional help!

If the above do not work within a few weeks, it may be time to bother your dentist!

Professional treatments include the use of fluoride gels/varnishes, replacement of fillings or the provision of a mouth guard for night-time grinding.

Useful links

About Cleveland Orthodontics

Our specialist-led practice has been established since 1996 and provides brace treatment to people of all ages from across the North East, including Middlesbrough, Yarm, Stockton-on-Tees, Billingham and Redcar.

We offer NHS orthodontic treatment for children and a range of modern white and “invisible” braces for adults of all ages such as Invisalign. FREE consultations are available… you can either telephone for an appointment on 01642 243 020 or book through our website.

Image courtesy of artur84 /