Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth are generally described as sharp, short-acting tooth pain when you drink cold drinks, eat ice cream, or drink hot tea.
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What is a sensitive tooth?

A sensitive tooth involves discomfort or pain triggered by hot, cold, sweet, or acidic stimuli, often due to exposed root surfaces from receding gums or enamel erosion.

Sensitive Teeth 2


Enamel Wear

Exposing sensitive tooth structure (dentine) underneath.

Receding gums can expose tooth roots, leading to sensitive teeth.

Cavities or decay can cause sensitive teeth.

Cracks or fractures near the tooth nerve can cause sensitive teeth.

Grinding teeth can wear down enamel and cause sensitive teeth.

Abrasive toothpaste or aggressive brushing can wear down enamel and expose root surfaces.

Gum inflammation and recession due to Periodontal disease can cause sensitivity.

Some dental treatments may cause temporary sensitivity.


Symptoms of sensitive teeth may include:

Pain or Discomfort

Sharp or throbbing pain when consuming hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and beverages.

Sensitivity or pain during brushing, especially with cold water or toothpaste.

Pain or discomfort when breathing in cold air, especially through the mouth.

Sensitivity or pain when biting down, especially on hard or crunchy foods

Teeth Grinding Treatment
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The treatment for teeth sensitivity depends on the underlying cause but may include:

Desensitising Toothpaste

Specialised toothpaste designed to reduce sensitivity

Application of fluoride to strengthen enamel and reduce sensitivity.

Restoring any cavities or areas where the tooth is worn down to cover exposed tooth surfaces.

For cases of gum recession, grafting tissue onto the exposed roots to reduce sensitivity.

In cases of severe sensitivity or nerve exposure, a root canal may be recommended.

In some instances, adjusting the bite to reduce pressure on sensitive teeth.

Dietary adjustments, avoiding acidic foods and drinks that contribute to sensitivity.

It’s crucial to consult with a dentist for a proper diagnosis and personalised treatment plan tailored to the specific cause of tooth sensitivity. Contact us now to book it in!

Frequently Asked Questions

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Why are my teeth sensitive?

Sensitive teeth is an issue that affects most of us at some time in our lives. Most sensitivity, which can be called Dentine Hypersensitivity, arises from fluid movement in the dentine layer of our teeth which then propagate and trigger the tooth nerve fibres and result in pain.

Sensitive teeth can be due to multiple reasons:

  • Gum recession, resulting in exposure of the root surfaces of the teeth
  • Broken or decayed teeth which also expose the dentine
  • Worn teeth which have exposed the dentine
  • Cracked teeth which move fluid in the dentine layer
  • Mouth breathing which can make the front teeth more sensitive

Management of sensitive teeth vary according to the cause but the simplest thing would be to trial a sensitive toothpaste. For cases where there is a problem like decay, you will need timely treatment from your dental professional.

Teeth looking longer is most likely due to gum recession. This is when the gum recedes/goes down and more of the tooth and tooth root can be seen and making it look ‘longer’.

Gum recession can be due to a combination of different factors:

  • Unmanaged Periodontal Disease (gum disease)
  • Brushing very hard with a medium or hard toothbrush
  • Teeth movement out of the bony envelope of the jaw
  • Clenching / grinding teeth

It is important to get timely treatment because most of the time if the gum recedes, it is irreversible and the gum doesn’t come back up. So the priority is to stop it from getting worse. There are options for gum grafting but this needs to be assessed on a case by case basis if suitable.

Entrust us with your dental care.
Give us a call, book an appointment online, or visit us.
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