Why are my teeth sensitive?

sensitive-teethEveryone gets sensitivity sometimes usually from cold drinks or ice cream. With the cold weather on its way sometimes just breathing in the cold air can set it off. Sensitivity can mean you have a cavity in your tooth, and the food is getting into the nerve causing pain.

Sensitivity is more concerning if you are getting sensitive to hot things or sweat, it is more likely to be a hole in your tooth.
Generalised cold sensitivity can mean that you have dentine hypersensitivity. This is when the enamel of your tooth has worn away or thin, and the cold can get into the layer of tooth underneath called the ‘dentine.’ This most commonly happens at the gum line because the enamel is naturally thin in this area. The dentine is porous so cold can get into the pulp (the nerve).

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How can I fix this?
Sensitive toothpastes like Sensodyne or Colgate Sensitive have ingredients in them that block these tubules and stop the cold getting in the tooth. This protection builds up over time, so if you have on-going sensitivity, you will need to keep using these toothpastes.
There are also desensitising treatments your dentist can provide that work in a similar way. If the sensitivity does not ease or you get sensitivity to heat or sugar you should consider seeing a dentist. You may have a cavity, the sooner you catch it the better!
Make sure you are using a soft toothbrush and not brushing too hard. Plaque has the consistency of cream, so you do not need to scrub hard to get it off your teeth.
Check out oceanbreezedental.com.au for more information on brushing technique. You can also pop into the practice (3/73 The Trak Arcade, The Terrace, Ocean Grove) to pick up some free sensitive toothpaste samples. (Note- We are not affiliated with any toothpaste companies and do not recommend any brand in particular. We do find that the ‘sensitive’ toothpastes do help patients with dentine sensitivity, however.)

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