• February 16, 2024
  • Dr. Catherine-Anne Walsh

Navigating the Nuisance of Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth can significantly impact your quality of life, leading to discomfort or pain from triggers like hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and drinks. Understanding the basics of sensitive teeth is essential for identifying symptoms and seeking appropriate care.

Understanding the Basics of Sensitive Teeth

Tooth sensitivity, often a sharp, sudden discomfort, arises when the tooth’s protective layers are compromised, exposing the dentin or inner workings. Factors like enamel erosion and receding gums can lead to sensitive teeth, making everyday activities like eating and drinking uncomfortable.

Common Symptoms of Tooth Sensitivity

Symptoms include brief, sharp pain in response to stimuli such as cold air, sweet treats, or brushing your teeth. Sudden tooth sensitivity can be a warning sign of underlying issues such as tooth decay or gum disease, necessitating a dental evaluation.

sensitive teeth

Sensitive teeth often indicate underlying oral health issues, such as receding gums or tooth decay.

Primary Causes of Sensitive Teeth

Several factors contribute to tooth sensitivity, from enamel erosion to dental procedures. Understanding these can help in preventing and treating sensitive teeth.

Enamel Erosion: The Leading Culprit

Enamel erosion, caused by acidic foods and drinks, is a primary reason for sensitive teeth. The loss of tooth enamel exposes dentin, leading to sensitivity. Maintaining good oral hygiene and moderating acidic food intake can help protect enamel.

Gum Recession and Its Role in Sensitivity

Gum recession, often a result of gum disease or aggressive brushing, exposes root surfaces and can cause teeth to become sensitive. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and practising gentle brushing techniques can help prevent this issue.

Everyday Habits That Contribute to Sensitivity

Daily habits, from dietary choices to oral care routines, play a significant role in the health of our teeth and can contribute to sensitivity.

Dietary Choices and Tooth Sensitivity

Acidic foods and drinks can erode tooth enamel over time, leading to increased sensitivity. Moderating intake of such items and following up with water or milk can help neutralise acids and protect your teeth.

The Role of Oral Hygiene Practices

Good oral hygiene is crucial in preventing tooth decay and gum disease, both of which can cause tooth sensitivity. Regular brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush, flossing, and professional dental cleanings are key to maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

Bruxism: How Grinding Your Teeth Affects Sensitivity

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can wear down enamel and lead to cracked teeth, contributing to sensitivity. Wearing a custom-fitted mouthguard at night can help protect your teeth from the effects of grinding.

sensitive teeth

Many people experience a sharp twinge from sensitive teeth when consuming hot or cold beverages.

Preventive Measures and Treatments

There are several ways to treat sensitive teeth, from simple at-home care to professional dental treatments.

Daily Practices to Reduce Sensitivity

Incorporating fluoride toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth, using a soft-bristled toothbrush, and maintaining good oral hygiene habits can significantly reduce sensitivity and protect oral health.

Professional Dental Treatments for Sensitive Teeth

For more severe cases, dental treatments such as fluoride varnishes, bonding agents, or gum grafts can be effective in treating sensitive teeth. These procedures aim to cover exposed root surfaces or rebuild lost gum tissue, providing relief from sensitivity.

How to contact us at our Sydney CBD clinic

Day Time +61292333399
After Hours 0406986909
Email Us: info@thedentist.net.au

1/70 Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Mon & Thu: 8am-7pm
Tue, Wed & Fri: 8am-5pm
Saturday: 8am-1pm
Sunday: closed



Below you can find more FAQs about sensitive teeth but if you need any more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Or you can use the online form to book an appointment.

Can tooth sensitivity go away?

With appropriate care, sensitivity in teeth can often be significantly reduced or even resolved. Employing toothpaste specifically formulated for sensitive teeth, adhering to a regimen of good oral hygiene, and steering clear of triggers such as acidic foods can mitigate the discomfort associated with teeth sensitive to various stimuli.

How do I know if my tooth sensitivity is serious?

Should the sensitivity in your teeth be intense, persistent, or accompanied by additional symptoms such as tooth pain, a dental consultation becomes imperative. Such symptoms could indicate more severe underlying issues, including tooth decay, a cracked tooth, or gum disease.

What can I do if tooth pain is unbearable?

In cases where tooth pain becomes intolerable, seeking immediate dental advice is crucial. While waiting for your appointment, over-the-counter pain relief might provide temporary respite, but it’s vital to avoid applying painkillers directly onto the sore tooth or surrounding gums.

What treatments can the dentist offer for sensitive teeth?

For issues related to sensitive teeth, dentists have a suite of treatments at their disposal, ranging from fluoride treatments and desensitising products to more comprehensive interventions such as dental restorations for cavities or root canal treatments for advanced tooth decay or a severely cracked tooth. These treatments aim to address not only the symptoms but also the root causes, such as exposed tooth roots, that contribute to sensitivity and pain.

Dr. Catherine-Anne Walsh
About The Author

Dr. Catherine-Anne Walsh

Catherine-Anne is a New Zealand-qualified dentist. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Health from Sydney University and she has a broad range of experiences from working in both the public and private sector.


Keep me updated with news and knowledge
from The Dentist At 70 Pitt Street