How To Deal With Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity can be really annoying. It ruins certain foods, makes drinking difficult, adds unnecessary pain to daily tasks like brushing your teeth and causes general discomfort.

So we’ve established that sensitive teeth symptoms are not fun. But exactly what is tooth sensitivity and how can you get rid of it?

What causes sensitive teeth?

Sensitive teeth can, unfortunately, develop in any person at any point in their lives. Millions of people suffer from it worldwide and the most common reported symptom is a sudden sharp pain when the teeth come into contact with anything from the air or different temperatures to acidic or sweet foods.

Sensitive teeth occur when the dentin in the tooth is exposed to any of the elements mentioned above. The dentin is connected to the nerve inside the tooth which triggers the pain. The dentin is usually protected by a layer of enamel and the surrounding gums. So when these protective layers are compromised by cavities, cracked teeth, gum recession, enamel erosion or root erosion, the dentin is exposed and effectively so is the nerve inside your tooth.


Some common reasons for this are:

  • Brushing your teeth and gums too vigorously
  • Recession of gums
  • Cracked teeth
  • Teeth grinding
  • Plaque build-up
  • Acidic foods
  • Recent dental procedures


Home remedies for sensitive teeth

The good news is, tooth sensitivity is usually treatable and symptoms can ease up and even disappear completely with proper care. Some home remedies you can try as tooth sensitivity treatment:

  • Using a softer toothbrush
  • Using desensitising toothpaste
  • Avoiding acidic foods
  • Avoiding teeth grinding
  • Wearing a mouthguard (if you tend to grind your teeth in your sleep)
  • Using a fluoridated mouthwash daily


What can your dentist do about tooth sensitivity?

If you’ve tried all of the above and nothing seems to be working, make an appointment to see your dentist. Depending on the situation they may be able to perform some procedures.

One option is to apply bonding resin to the root surface (for which you may require a local anaesthetic). Another option is to replace lost gum tissue by applying a surgical gum graft made from tissue taken from elsewhere in your mouth. And if you are in severe pain from tooth sensitivity, you may need a root canal to address the tooth’s pulp.