The pain of sensitive teeth is a common one, something many UK adults will experience. It is seen most often among 20–40 year olds, though it is not unheard of in young teenagers and the over 70s. Teeth can become sensitive when the outer enamel is worn down, exposing the soft dentine underneath. There are many causes:
- Loss of tooth enamel due to tooth much acid in the mouth
- Receding gums
- Gum disease
- Teeth grinding
- A cracked tooth or filing
- Teeth whitening – it can be one of the after effects of treatment.
It may not seem a serious problem but it certainly can be painful. A dentist in Wigmore, such as those at the Wigmore Dental Practice, should pick this kind of issue up during a routine check-up and can offer patients an individualised treatment plan, depending on the cause of the sensitivity.
Here are some ways to treat sensitive teeth in between dental appointments:
- Specialised toothpaste – pastes that are high in fluoride can help reduce sensitivity. It can take some weeks for it to have an effect, so it is advisable to try this for at least two months;
- Avoid extreme temperatures – food and drinks that are hot or cold can bring on sensitivity, such as ice cream or hot coffee;
- Cut down on highly acidic foods such as sugary drinks and wine;
- For those that grind their teeth, the dentist in Wigmore can create a custom-made mouth guard to protect the teeth from wear;
- Wrap up warm – wearing a scarf around the mouth in cold weather stops the cold wind from entering the mouth and affecting sensitive teeth;
- Get a new toothbrush every two to three months – don’t use a worn- down brush, and use small, circular movements to brush the teeth, don’t brush in a straight line.
Treatment at the surgery
The dentist in Wigmore can treat sensitive teeth with flouride gels, rinses and varnishes every 1–2 weeks to help build up a layer of protection. They can also seal where the tooth and gum meet to cover up the exposed dentine, or, in particularly painful cases, offer root canal therapy.