Do you have sensitive teeth? If so, you know all about how uncomfortable this can be, particularly when you consume cold food and drinks —an ice-cold beer or fruit from the fridge can really send you through the roof!
Tooth sensitivity is something we see daily at Parnell Dentistry. It’s the cause of considerable anxiety for many people and can even cause some people to avoid their dentist because getting a professional clean is uncomfortable.
What causes sensitive teeth?
Some people are born with reactive teeth that are more sensitive than normal – sensitivity doesn’t need to be a sign of trouble. However, in some cases exposed dentine – the hard, dense bony tissue that forms the bulk of the tooth, beneath the enamel – can cause sensitivity. Dentine often becomes exposed due to decay, gum disease or over-brushing. It’s softer than enamel and contains tubules with minute nerve fibres that aren’t designed to be uncovered. Other causes can be decay, a cracked tooth or broken filling can also cause sensitivity.
What can a tooth be sensitive to?
Here are some of the usual suspects:
- Cold food and drinks: especially very cold fruit and beverages
- Hot drinks: This can indicate all isn’t well with the tooth and nerve
- Air: when speaking in a cold environment or breathing hard over the teeth while exercising outside.
- Touch: when brushing your teeth.
- Sweet: Sugary food and drinks can be excruciating. This suggests that a filling is leaking or some dentine is exposed.
- Acidity: often on exposed dentine.
What happens if I ignore sensitive teeth?
It is never a good idea to ignore any dental issue. Here are some possible consequences of putting your sensitivity on the back burner.
- You could lose the tooth: a crack can end up splitting your tooth completely. In this case, the only treatment is extraction.
- The nerve in your tooth may need to be removed: known as ‘root filling,’ your tooth gets to stay, but its nerve is extracted to stop the pain.
- You could end up with a filling: if your tooth has been hard to clean because of discomfort, decay can set in.
How can your dentist help?
It is best to get your teeth checked out, so your dentist can put a plan in place. The first thing we do is determine the cause. The problem could be with one tooth or many. Once we determine the cause, we can look at options which can include:
- Fixing any cavities or cracked fillings or teeth
- A thorough dental clean with the hygienist
- Reviewing your brushing technique – if you are causing damage or not being effective
- Putting fluorides and desensitising agents onto your teeth
- Recommending special toothpaste, gels and topical agents to help reduce pain and discomfort over time
At Parnell Dentistry, we understand how uncomfortable reactive teeth can be, so we take extra care when helping patients resolve their sensitivities. We often receive feedback about how gentle our dental hygienist, Michelle, is. We aim to make each visit as comfortable and pain free as possible.
So if you’ve been putting off a dental appointment, now is the time to book in and take advantage of our November special: 50% off the normal rate. We will be able to advise you on a plan for your sensitive teeth. We’re always happy to help make tooth pain a distant memory and a thing of the past!
$40 for a 20min consultation