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376 Goodwood Road
Cumberland Park 5041
Ph. (08) 8271 62333


What is tooth sensitivity?


Tooth sensitivity is a pain or discomfort  in the teeth as a response to certain triggers. For example, hot or cold temperatures or sweet, sugary food. 
It can be a temporary or long lasting issue and can affect one tooth, several teeth or all the teeth. If you suffer from sensitive teeth you are not alone. A lot of people experience this problem and this blog will cover everything there is to know about sensitive teeth. 


You can experience sensitivity, pain or discomfort when the tooth is exposed to certain triggers. Your symptoms may come and go over time and they can range from mild to intense. These include,
  • Cold water
  • Brushing - especially rinsing with cold water
  • Hot/cold food and beverages
  • Sweet foods and beverages
  • Acidic foods and beverages


The enamel on the tooth is what protects the inner layers as once they are exposed, that is what will cause the sensitivity. Some people generally have thinner enamel than others and more mature patients with experience this more so than younger patients.
The enamel can easily be worn down over time, and this can be due to,
  • Brushing your teeth too vigorously or with a hard bristled toothbrush (sometimes electric toothbrushes can be to harsh also)
  • Grinding/clenching
  • Eating/drinking acidic foods and beverages, eg. soft drinks, lemon in water, lollies
  • Reflux
  • Gum recession
  • Worn down fillings
  • Decay



If you're concerned and it is affecting your eating/drinking, then give us a call and book an appointment for a general clean and check up. Dr Jack and Dr Angela will do a full examination and find out what is causing your sensitivity. X-rays may be required to make sure you do not have any decay - which can sometimes be hard to pick up by looking at the teeth directly. X-rays will show us what is hidden in between  your teeth as well as what is under the gum line.
How to treat sensitivity
After your check up, you will be instructed on how to help with  the sensitivity - whether that be to manage it or to fix it. Here are some of the treatment options you might be given,


Sensitive toothpaste
These toothpastes are specifically designed for sensitive teeth. They have  desensitising ingredients that will block the pathways from the enamel which will stop external stimuli from reaching the inner layers of your teeth.


Soft bristled toothbrush
If you are using a hard bristled toothbrush... STOP!
Over time, the hard bristles will slowly wear away at your protective enamel. There are a lot of great soft bristled toothbrushes on the market that you can swap over to, and it's important to remember that just because it's softer, does not mean you apply more force. You will get a better clean by gently massaging your teeth and gums. By applying lots of force with your toothbrush, gum recession can occur which exposes the dentine - dentine reacts very sensitively to hot and cold.


If you suffer from acid reflux, there are over the counter medications you can get from the chemist to help with this. Also try to cut down or eliminate drinks/foods that you know cause the reflux, or just don't drink/eat it before bed time. 


Do you sometimes wake up in the morning and have a sore jaw or sore teeth? This could be one sign of grinding and clenching at night time. To prevent this you would require a nightguard. A nightguard generally sits on the upper teeth and you wear it while you sleep. Reducing stress and cutting back on coffee can also help with this as well.