Top tips for sensitive teeth
If you’ve got sensitive teeth, you are probably most aware of them with cold things. Cold air over the surface of the teeth, or ice in a drink can be something that causes you to wince.
The most common cause of sensitive teeth is slight gum recession, exposing tooth root or dentine. As we age, the gum naturally shrinks back a little, exposing the root surface, which is not covered by protective enamel. Sometimes it’s only a very small amount of gum recession, but boy, is that newly-exposed root surface sensitive!
Unfortunately we can’t easily make gums grow back over roots and so the solution is to de-sensitise the root. You can do this at home, using a sensitive type toothpaste. Make sure you are cleaning the teeth in the correct order (see January’s blog) and then after spitting out, simply rub a small amount of the sensitive toothpaste over the root surface, and leave it there. You’ll only need a tiny amount and if you apply it just before bed, the active ingredient will keep on working whilst you sleep. It will take a few days to a week for the sensitivity to reduce.
Some things will make your sensitive teeth worse. A diet high in acidic components such as juices or citrus fruits will re-sensitise dentine, as will stomach acids from heartburn, hiatus hernia or bulimia.
If your sensitive teeth don’t seem to be responding to your treatment, it could be a sign that something else is wrong: perhaps a broken or leaking filling. If you are overdue a regular check up, call us and we’ll be happy to help.