June 22, 2024

Sensitive teeth

Ever find yourself drinking a cup of hot tea/coffee, catching the crisp winter chill, and immediately feeling a bolt of pain? Well, you are not alone, and no, it’s not because the cup of coffee is too strong (if such even exists). That’s sensitivity, where your teeth suddenly respond to changes in temperature within your mouth. 

We all know the norm, when we drink or eat hot beverages our teeth aren’t meant to react. Save of course brain freeze from a lovely freeze-it or gelato. So, what causes teeth to be sensitive and how can we get rid of that? Tooth sensitivity happens when dentine is exposed. Dentine is a layer of tooth that is found beneath the enamel and covers the tooth pulp where the nerves and blood vessels are. So, what causes this exposure of dentine? There are many culprits, below are the most common ones:

  1. Untreated tooth decay 

One of the earliest signs of tooth decay is sensitivity. At this stage there is a small hole in the enamel which leads to exposed dentine and tooth sensitivity 

2. Aggressive brushing and using a toothpick 

Using a hard toothbrush, excessive force and wrong brushing technique will lead to wearing of the enamel. Toothpicks cause scratches on teeth 

3. Teeth grinding or bruxism 

Teeth grinding is a habit that commonly occurs in those who work in highly stressful environments or suffer from anxiety. The pressure placed on teeth during grinding will gradually wear down the teeth enamel.

4. Cracked or chipped teeth

This can be due to habitual pen biting, chewing ice or opening bottles with one’s teeth.

5. Exposed roots 

This happens when one brushes their teeth in horizontal (back and forth direction). 

6. Tooth wear

This happens when the enamel of teeth is broken down or chipped off due to effects of things we do. This can be from using teeth to hold things e.g hairdressers holding hairpins with teeth, musicians using their teeth to grip onto the mouthpieces of various instruments. 

How can dentists help?

Pain from sensitive teeth is far from pleasant and dentists can offer a range of treatments depending on the cause of the sensitivity, from home care advice to fillings and even great oral health isn’t just about pearly whites that are perfectly aligned, it is also about you enjoying your favorite meals and drinks. 

Bring the joy back to your hot cuppa this winter by scheduling an appointment with your dentist.  Don’t let a tooth stop you from enjoy a hot cuppa!

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