What causes sensitivity?

how to help sensitive teeth

Dentine tubules can become exposed due to gum recession or through enamel erosion which is caused by excess intake of acidic foods and fizzy drinks.

This leaves the nerve in the center of the tooth exposed leading to sensitive teeth. The nerve can then be aggravated by hot, cold or sweet foods and drinks.

How to prevent & relieve this sensitivity

  1. Try toothpaste made for sensitive teeth

These contain an active ingredient called potassium nitrate, which helps to block the tiny tubules in the dentin.

  1. Change the way you brush

Hard brushing wears away tooth enamel and increases the sensitivity in your teeth. It is a good idea to talk to your dentist about effective toothbrushing to avoid overbrushing.

  1. Avoid acidic foods & drinks

Exposure to red wine, fizzy drinks, fruit juices and acidic foods (e.g. oranges) can put your enamel under constant attack. Be sure to limit these and make it a habit  to brush your teeth no sooner than 20 minutes after eating them (not earlier, as this may hurt your enamel further).

  1. Desensitizing agents

If you’re not having any luck with desensitizing toothpastes, talk to us about painted-on barriers. Desensitizing agents like fluoride varnish or even plastic resins may be applied to the sensitive areas of your teeth and will last for a couple of months.

  1. Wear a mouthguard

By grinding your teeth when you’re tense, you could be wearing away enamel and giving yourself a sensitivity problem. You might not even realize you’re grinding; oftentimes, people only do it while they’re sleeping.  Unexplained jaw pain or headaches could be a signifier. If you do grind your teeth, try a mouth guard at night, or change your sleeping position. If you notice yourself clenching during the day, remind yourself to relax your jaw with your teeth slightly apart.

Tooth sensitivity is very common, however, you may want to ask us to check whether or not there are any other factors causing your teeth to feel sensitive.

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