5 tips for sensitive teeth this autumn

We’ve all had those moments where we bite into an ice lolly and end up regretting it instantly after a sharp, intense pain radiates down our body. Whether you suffer from sensitive teeth every now and then or it is becoming a recurring problem, now that the days are getting colder you might feel your teeth becoming more sensitive to the cold. Luckily we have some tips to help combat this. Read on to find out more.

What causes sensitive teeth?

Enamel protects the softer dentine underneath it. If the dentine is exposed, a tooth can become sensitive. This usually happens where the tooth and the gum meet and the enamel layer is much thinner. They can also be caused by:

  • Enamel can be worn away from excessive brushing. This can cause the freshly exposed dentine to become sensitive.
  • Drinking acidic foods and drinks.
  • Gum disease which can cause the gums to recede down the tooth and even destroy the bony support of the tooth. Pockets can form in the gums around the tooth, making the area difficult to keep clean and the problem worse.
  • Tooth grinding which can wear enamel away through clenching and grinding teeth. Consider getting a guard to wear at night which will help prevent damage from teeth grinding.
  • Teeth whitening, especially from home. Talk to a trusted dentist before having this treatment and ensure you are having it done professionally to help protect your enamel.

What can I do to treat sensitive teeth?

Switch to a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth

There are many toothpastes that are tailored to treating sensitivity, it’s about finding the one that works best for you. The effectiveness of these builds up over time, so it is important to continue using them twice a day. However you can massage toothpaste into particularly sensitive parts of your teeth for more direct relief. 

More Fluoride

Fluoride strengthens your tooth enamel and is a naturally occurring mineral. By increasing your consumption of fluoride-rich foods like potatoes, grapes, shrimp, and fish, you can help strengthen your teeth.

Visit your dentist to get the best advice

Your dentist can advise you what treatment is best for you. Fillings are used to repair your teeth after the result of tooth decay or breakage and can also be used to cover exposed dentine, reducing sensitivity of your teeth. 

How can I prevent sensitive teeth?

To prevent sensitive teeth there are several things you can do on a daily basis to help:

  • Effective cleaning to remove acidic plaque
  • Gentle use of a soft toothbrush to prevent wear or a powered brush with a pressure indicator light
  • Using a toothpaste containing fluoride as directed by manufacturer
  • Reduction of acid in the diet e.g. fizzy drinks, citrus fruits and wine
  • Consider daily use of desensitising toothpaste
  • Do not rinse out toothpaste from your mouth after brushing to retain correct fluoride levels on your teeth for longer
  • Visit your dental team regularly, as often as they recommend.

If you’re worried about sensitive teeth, book a consultation with us. We provide a comprehensive range of dental treatments in a relaxed and friendly environment, helping you get the treatment you need.

References and further reading

https://www.sciencefocus.com/news/sensitive-teeth-scientists-discover-why-cold-drinks-and-ice-cream-can-be-so-painful/ 

https://www.dentalhealth.org/sensitive-teeth 

Website last updated: July 2024

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