What is Tooth Sensitivity?

What is Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity is a common complaint of many patients visiting the dentist. Sensitivity is most commonly experienced after consumption of hot and cold food and drinks, or during brushing and flossing. Whilst we all experience sensitive teeth from time to time, repeated occurrences are a sign that something may be wrong. Here at Sydney Park Dental we have a wealth of experience in treating tooth sensitivity, so if you have any concerns we invite you to schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience. In this blog post, we will be highlighting some of the common causes of sensitive teeth.

Sensitive Teeth – Common Triggers

Tooth sensitivity can affect single or multiple teeth, and symptoms can vary from mild to chronic. Whilst some people have naturally sensitive teeth, it is not uncommon for the issue to occur suddenly in people of all ages. Sensitivity is usually brought on by stimuli including:

  • Consumption of hot or cold food and beverages
  • Cold environmental conditions
  • Daily brushing/flossing
  • Use of mouthwash

Our teeth have an enamel coating which provides strength and protection against sensitivity caused by hot/cold food and beverages. The enamel layer can be worn down by bacteria (plaque) and the consumption of acidic foods, which exposes the dentine of the tooth. Worn enamel and damaged teeth can both lead to chronic tooth pain and sensitivity, so it is important that you schedule regular dental appointments to keep your teeth in optimal condition.

Contributing Factors and Potential Underlying Issues

The below are common contributing factors which you should aim to minimise or avoid. If you are experiencing chronic sensitivity, it is possible that you may be suffering from one or more issues which will require dental treatment.

  • Brushing too hard – take your time when cleaning your teeth. Use a soft or medium toothbrush with even strokes, as rapid motions or hard toothbrushes can wear down the enamel and create sensitivity in the dentine layer.
  • Tooth Grinding (bruxism) – this is a common habit which some people may be unaware of. Teeth grinding can cause sensitivity due to the stress, wear and tear on your teeth. You should consult your dentist who can devise a bruxism management plan.

Potential Underlying Issues

  • Gum Disease – people who suffer from gum disease may experience bleeding, swelling, redness or tenderness around their teeth – particularly during brushing. This can contribute to tooth sensitivity, and it is important that a diagnosis is sought early so that a treatment plan can be put in place.
  • Tooth Decay – people with tooth decay often experience sharp pain and sensitivity, particularly in the late stages where the dental pulp/dentine are affected.
  • Damage to Teeth – teeth are prone to chipping and cracking, and they can also be damaged during contact sports or accidents. This can expose the dental pulp or dentine and lead to sensitivity. If you have chipped or cracked your teeth, visit your dentist for an examination at your earliest convenience.

It is also common to experience some sensitivity after undergoing dental treatment, however this is only temporary and there is no need to worry. Your symptoms should subside within a few days.


Suffering from Sensitive Teeth? Visit Sydney Park Dental Today

There are a number of potential causes of sensitive teeth, and your dentist will be more than happy to perform an oral examination and recommend a treatment plan to help manage your issue and reduce sensitivity. This could potentially involve fillings/crowns, gum disease treatment, root canal therapy, bruxism management or professional advice on your daily oral care routine.

To schedule an appointment, please call Sydney Park Dental on 02 8084 7170 or book now online.