Have you ever had a sharp pain when eating ice-cream or drinking cold water?
Tooth sensitivity is a common problem and can effect peoples enjoyment of certain foods and environments.
Sometimes even breathing in cold air can be uncomfortable.
Causes of tooth sensitivity
There are several different causes for tooth sensitivity. Thinning or wear of the enamel (outer protective layer) of the tooth can result in sensitivity to cold. Gum recession, exposing the part of the tooth with no enamel will also result in sensitivity. Tooth decay, cavities and cracks in teeth can also result in sensitivity to hot as well as cold. Clenching or grinding your teeth will periodically make your teeth become more sensitive.
Preventing tooth sensitivity
The following preventative measures can be taken to help reduce the risk of sensitive teeth:
- Reducing the consumption of foods and drinks that are acidic or sugary will keep the enamel strong and protective.
- Treating gum disease and preventing gum recession by daily cleaning and regular checks with your dentist or hygienist.
- Using an electric toothbrush can prevent over-brushing and help keep enamel strong.
- If you are clenching or grinding your teeth then addressing this will help stop tooth sensitivity.
Managing tooth sensitivity
The cause of the sensitivity will determine how it is best to be managed. Sensitive toothpastes can help where the enamel has thinned or the gum has receded. Regular use of a sensitive toothpaste will generally help to stop symptoms in most people. If there is tooth decay or a crack then other dental treatment would be required.