Are you sensitive??

Having a sensitive side is not always a good thing, especially where your teeth are concerned!


Do you wince at the thought of taking a sip from a nice glass of ice cold water, or sinking your teeth into a spoonful of yummy ice cream?

If hot, cold, sweet or very acidic foods/drinks, or breathing in cold air makes your teeth feel sensitive, then you have tooth sensitivity.

Over half the population will suffer from tooth sensitivity at some stage, the undiagnosed underlying causes could be scarier than you think!

  • The nerve inside your tooth may be under attack from infection and starting to die

  • There could be serious decay hidden between your teeth or underneath a filling where you can’t see it

  • You might have gum disease that is causing the destruction of the supporting tissues of your teeth and jaw and exposing root surfaces of your teeth

  • Your tooth enamel could be weak, thin or wearing away

  • Teeth that are sensitive to temperature may have a hidden break or fracture

If the reasons for your sensitive teeth aren’t investigated, the outcome could range from expensive treatment (that could have been avoided if the sensitivity was looked into earlier) to potentially losing a tooth.

Depending on the cause, there are many ways that tooth sensitivity can be easily treated.

  • Reducing sensitivity may be as simple as changing your toothpaste

  • Adjusting your brushing technique may also help reduce sensitivity

  • Understanding why your teeth become sensitive will give you peace of mind and

  • You will be able to eat and drink what you like when your sensitivity is gone

Don’t ignore your sensitive side- your teeth are trying to tell you something! They don’t just start hurting for no good reason.

There are so many ads on television and social media selling toothpastes and products that claim they will cure sensitivity once and for all. How can they possibly make this claim if they don’t know the root cause of the problem? Paying a visit to your dentist to have the underlying reason diagnosed is the only way that you can be sure that there is nothing more sinister going on. In addition, you will receive ongoing support, maintenance and care that you need.

Two common causes of tooth sensitivity are:

Dentinal or root hypersensitivity. Over three quarters of the population will have some degree of gum recession (and associated root or dentine exposure) by the time they are 65. This exposed root surface is not protected by enamel like the main part of the tooth and is more susceptible to not only sensitivity but also decay or wear by over brushing.

Wear of the tooth enamel Tooth enamel plays a very important role as the outermost protective layer of the tooth. It is the hardest, most mineralised tissue in the body - even harder than bone. It is still susceptible to wear over time and once it has been lost, it can never be replaced. Tooth enamel can be lost for a variety of reasons, through grinding or clenching, incorrect brushing or even acid reflux.

Having regular examinations with your dental professional is a great way to make sure that any issues with your dental health are detected early and managed preventatively. Your dental professional is well accustomed to looking after patients with sensitive teeth and will be able to give you sound professional advice to help manage or treat your symptoms.

Taking that first step and booking an appointment to find out what exactly is wrong with your teeth can be daunting, but the sooner you see us, the better chance we have of resolving the problem with minimal intervention - and expense!

If any of these signs or symptoms sound familiar, click here to book an appointment with us online to find out how we can help you, or call us on 02 6921 5799.

Kimberley Hayllar