A sharp, intense shooting pain is often the telltale sign of sensitive teeth. Sensitivity is commonly triggered by hot, cold, sweet or acidic food or drinks.
Sometimes, simply breathing in cold air with your mouth open is enough to cause pain. In some people the pain can last a few minutes, or even hours, while in others it passes quickly. The longer the pain lasts the more likely it is that a serious problem exists, so any pain that last more than a few seconds should be checked by your dentist as soon as possible.
- Sensitive to hot, cold or sweet
- Pain last seconds or minutes
- Can be excrutiating pain
CAUSES OF SENSITIVE TEETH
The tooth may have been over-brushed, the gum has receded and caused a sensitive area on the root of the tooth. The most important step to take here, is to be aware that if you have been over-brushing, to be more gentle in these areas, but still effective.
The sensitive part of the tooth is usually the root where there has been some exposed dentine. The dentine which is the outer layer of the root connects with the nerve of the tooth and can become sensitive.
Gum recession can occur because of gum disease or after its management. At regular checkups, your dentist will assess if you have gum disease and plan its long-term management and prevention, along with seeing our hygienist for preventative maintenance.
Decayed or cracked teeth can cause sensitivity also, and can be exacerbated by hot, cold or acidic foods and drinks.
Lemon water is an acid which will dissolve your tooth enamel. We would recommend no lemon water, or drink it through a reusable straw to avoid damaging your teeth. Fizzy drinks are very acidic and will damage your teeth in the same way as lemon water, but due to the very high sugar content they will also cause holes (decay).
SOLUTIONS FOR SENSITIVE TEETH
Come for a consultation (from $79) to assess and diagnose why you have sensitive teeth: is it gum recession, decay, cracked teeth, over-brushing?
If the sensitivity is from gum recession or over-brushing, we can try using desensitising gel over the tooth root. We will give you special sensitive-reducing toothpastes to rub into your teeth to use at home. Critically, your toothbrushing technique must be adjusted to optimally clean your teeth and avoid further progression of gum recession. Sometimes we place white composite fillings on the sides of teeth from $250.
If the sensitivity is from decay or cracked teeth, the tooth will be assessed if it is fixable with a filling, or if it has a hopeless prognosis, it will be removed.