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Sensitive Teeth: Causes, Prevention & Treatments

Have you ever found yourself wincing in pain while indulging in your favourite icy treat or sipping a steaming cup of coffee? This sharp pain or discomfort that just makes you go “ouch!” might indicate tooth sensitivity. 

Tooth sensitivity is a common dental condition faced by many Australians. One of the most common causes of sensitivity is dental erosion. When your tooth enamel (the protective outer layer) gets damaged, it can leave the dentine exposed to external stimuli. Dentine is an extremely sensitive soft layer beneath the enamel. When it comes in contact with external stimuli, you may experience a sharp sensation in your teeth.

But wait, there’s more. Other causes of tooth sensitivity include:

  • Gum recession
  • Plaque build-up and tooth decay 
  • Cracked teeth 
  • Dental restorations like fillings or crowns and teeth whitening treatments 

If you’ve been dreaming of the day you can savour your favourite food and drinks without the dreaded wince, know that day is very close with our sensitive teeth treatment at Port Melbourne Dental.

How Can You Treat Sensitive Teeth? 

Sometimes, tooth sensitivity can go away on its own, especially after a recent dental procedure. However, if it persists, it’s important to consult a dentist. When you come to us with tooth sensitivity, we will first identify the underlying cause and then begin treatment to alleviate sensitivity. 

Here are effective ways to treat sensitive teeth: 

1. Use a desensitising toothpaste

Specially formulated desensitising toothpaste can work wonders by creating a shield over the exposed dentine. Armed with ingredients like potassium nitrate or sodium fluoride, they can also help soothe the sensitive nerves, preventing them from responding to external stimuli. 

2. Dental restorations 

Are weak or damaged teeth causing sensitivity? In that case, dental restorations like fillings or crowns are your best solution. They can prevent further damage and sensitivity by covering the dentine. If sensitivity results from worn-out dental restorations, we will replace them with new ones, restoring the structure of your teeth and eliminating sensitivity. 

3. Dental bonding and sealants

If you are experiencing sensitivity as a result of exposed tooth roots or an exposed dentine, dental bonding and sealants can help. Covering exposed areas will shield the tooth from sensitivity triggers and also enhance its appearance.  

4. Gum Grafting 

Gum recession can leave your tooth roots exposed, resulting in sensitivity. A gum graft will transplant tissue from another area of your mouth to the affected area and cover these exposed tooth roots, reducing sensitivity significantly.  

5. Mouthguards

Do you grind and clench your teeth at night? If so, customised mouthguards or dental splints are the way to go. Crafted with precision by our dentists, these splints will reduce the strain on teeth, preventing enamel erosion.

Preventing Sensitive Teeth

A proactive approach is the best way to avoid tooth sensitivity from arising in the first place. Wondering where to start? Here are a few things you can do to keep sensitivity at bay: 

  • Visiting the dentist should not be a box to tick on your to-do list. It’s one of the best things you can do for sensitive teeth and oral health in general. These visits allow our dentists to identify and treat the problem before it worsens. 
  • Brush your teeth using a soft-bristled toothbrush twice daily and floss at least once daily. Avoid brushing too hard because it can erode the tooth enamel. 
  • Steer clear of acidic and sugary foods and drinks, which can contribute to dental erosion and tooth decay. When you do, make sure to rinse your mouth with water. 
  • Keep bacteria at bay by staying well-hydrated.  
  • Avoid over-the-counter whitening products as they may contain harmful ingredients that can trigger sensitivity. Always trust dental professionals for your teeth whitening needs. 

By taking these steps, you will have a better chance of alleviating sensitivity and other dental conditions that could affect your smile. At PMD Dental, we will treat sensitive teeth so you can enjoy a pain-free smile and savour your favourite foods and drinks without a second thought. 

Contact us for more information and how we can help!