Sensitive teeth mean that one gets mild to severe discomfort that continue for several hours. It can be an early warning sign of more serious dental problems. The part of the tooth we see is covered by a layer of enamel that protects the softer dentine underneath. If the dentine is exposed, a tooth can become sensitive. This usually happens where the tooth and the gum meet, here the enamel layer is thinner.
Toothbrush abrasion - brushing too hard from side to side can cause enamel to be worn away, particularly where the teeth meet the gums. The freshly exposed dentine then become sensitive. Dental erosion is also caused acid attacks from food and drinks. If enamel is worn away the dentine underneath is exposed, which leads to sensitivity.
Gum recession - gums may recede (shrink back) exposing the roots and become more sensitive, as they do not have an enamel layer for protection. Build-up of plaque or tartar can cause the gum to recede and even destroy the bony support of the tooth. Pockets can form in the gums around the tooth worsening the thus problem worsens.
Tooth grinding - is a habit which involves clenching and grinding the teeth together. This causes the enamel to be worn away, making the teeth sensitive.
Tooth bleaching - some patients have sensitivity for a short time during or after having their teeth bleached. Other causes of pain may be: A cracked tooth or filling. This can run from the biting surface of a tooth down towards the root. Extreme temperatures, especially cold may cause discomfort.
These toothpastes contain ˜desensitising agent which effectively reduce the pain of sensitive teeth and gums. Rubbing this toothpaste along the affected area and leaving it on overnight helps ease the discomfort. There are many brands of toothpaste available to ease the pain. The toothpaste should be used twice daily to brush teeth. It can also be rubbed onto the sensitive areas. These toothpastes take anything from a few days to several weeks to take effect. Your dentist would be able to advise you on which type of toothpaste would be best for you.