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Derek Reffin

I have been a patient at Dental fx for the last 3 years and can truthfully say it has been a most positive experience.

Derek Reffin
16 January 2016
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Sensitive Teeth Information - Get in Touch..

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Do you feel a shooting pain in your teeth when eating or drinking something hot? Does the thought of biting into ice cream or a cold hard apple make you wince? Sensitive teeth can be a burden for many people and can be caused by several things. It is always important to seek advice from a dental professional so the source of the problem can be identified and treated.

One cause of sensitivity is dental erosion, which is the loss of tooth enamel. Enamel is the hard outer coating of a tooth, which protects the sensitive dentine underneath. If the enamel is worn away or eroded, this dentine is exposed which can lead to pain and sensitivity, which can be worsened with extreme temperatures.

Erosion can be caused by your diet (frequent consumption of high sugar or high acid food or drink), tooth brushing habits (brushing too hard), tooth grinding, certain medical conditions and eating disorders. For top tips on protecting your enamel and for effective treatment of tooth sensitivity come to the practice for a check-up, where we can create an individualised care plan for you.

At some point in life, most people will experience sensitive teeth which can range from a mild twinge to severe discomfort. Sensitivity can last for a very short period of time or over a more prolonged period of time. Sensitivity seems to be more common in people aged between 20 and 40, although it can affect people in their early teens and when they are over 70. Women also, are more likely to be affected than men.

Some causes of teeth sensitivity are as follows:

  • Brushing too hard (this is known as ‘toothbrush abrasion'), and brushing from side to side, can cause the tooth enamel to be worn away - especially where the teeth meet the gums. The freshly exposed dentine may then become sensitive and cause discomfort.
  • Dental erosion: this is when there is a loss of tooth enamel caused by attacks of acid from acidic food and drinks. If enamel is worn away, the dentine underneath is exposed and this can lead to sensitivity.
  • Over time, gums may naturally recede (shrink back), and the roots of the teeth can become exposed and can therefore become more sensitive. Root surfaces do not have an enamel layer to protect them.
  • Gum disease: this happens when there is a build-up of plaque or tartar and can cause the gum to recede down the tooth, even destroying the bony support of the tooth. The situation is made worse when pockets are formed in the gums around the tooth, making the area difficult to keep clean
  • Tooth grinding: this is a habit which involves clenching and grinding the teeth together. This can cause the enamel of the teeth to be worn away, making the teeth sensitive.
  • A cracked tooth or filling: a cracked tooth is one that has become broken and can sometimes be difficult to detect. A crack can run from the biting surface of a tooth down towards the root. Extreme temperatures, especially cold, can cause discomfort.
  • Tooth bleaching: some patients experience sensitivity for a short time during bleaching or afterwards. At Dental fx we chat to the patient before starting a tooth bleaching regime and offer advice regarding tooth whitening sensitivity

You are more likely to feel the sensitivity when eating or drinking something cold, from cold air catching your teeth, and sometimes with hot foods or drinks. Some people experience sensitivity when they have sweet or acidic food and drinks. The pain can come and go, with some times being worse than others and if this is the case we advise you to contact us and make an appointment to see either one of our hygienists or dental surgeons

In order for us at Dental fx to understand what is causing your sensitivity we will carry out a thorough examination and chat to you about your symptoms. There are various methods which can be used to treat the affected teeth such as applying special ‘de-sensitising' products to help relieve the symptoms. Fluoride gels, rinses or varnishes can be applied to sensitive teeth. These can be painted onto the teeth at regular appointments one or two weeks apart, and this helps to build up some protection. Sensitivity can take some time to settle, and you may need to have several appointments.

If you are experiencing sensitivity either short term or long term, please do give us a call on 0141 931 5533 and we will book you in for the earliest convenient appointment.

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