Living with sensitive teeth

Do you avoid hot and cold food and drink for fear of how they might react with your teeth? Just like you, many adults and children suffer from having sensitive teeth in Essex, a dental issue that is caused by many contributing factors but most prominently from enamel erosion.

sensitive-teeth-essexIf you are tired of living this way and restricting your diet due to your tender pearly whites, book an appointment with one of our trained and experienced dentists at Crofts Dental Practice.

What is enamel erosion?

The surface of every natural tooth you possess is called the enamel. The enamel is the tough outer layer that protects your dentine (the extremely sensitive tissue that is found underneath) against germs, chemicals and fluids.

From the food you consume daily to the fluids your body secretes, this enamel is constantly exposed to, and damaged by, potentially harmful substances, which does lead to its eventual wear and tear if you do not take adequate care of your teeth. Enamel erosion, the primary cause of sensitive teeth in Essex, occurs when the outer layer is damaged beyond repair and leaves the dentin vulnerable and exposed to the elements. People with sensitive teeth in Essex will experience pain or discomfort that worsens without medical treatment.

What generally causes erosion?

Germs contained in plaque use the sugars, found in the food and drink you consume, to create acid. This acid attacks and can destroy your enamel if you do not remove the plaque by cleaning your teeth regularly.

Your saliva can neutralise acid attacks. However, a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates results in a more significant build-up of acid that your body’s natural defences cannot fend off by itself – which is why brushing your teeth regularly with fluoridated toothpaste is so crucial.

What should I eliminate from my diet to improve my oral health?

Watch what you eat by curbing your intake of sugary, acidic and starchy foods, such as white bread. If you do consume acidic drinks, such as orange juice, use a straw to minimise your teeth’s contact with the beverage.

Are there other medical conditions that cause this issue?

If you are in the habit of grinding your teeth, then know that it can negatively impact the structure of your teeth. Correct this issue by enquiring with us about using a retainer at night.

Xerostomia is a condition that results in a reduction of saliva and is often a symptom of serious illnesses, such as Diabetes. Less acid is neutralised without the necessary saliva.

Certain medications, like antihistamines and aspirin, can weaken your enamel’s defences against foreign substances.

The way you brush your teeth can impose upon your enamel. People often correlate healthy teeth to hard brushing – which is not at all true. Brush gently and use a soft-bristled toothbrush.

How can we fight off enamel erosion?

Unfortunately, enamel does not grow back, but we can prevent the decay from getting worse. One technique we often recommend is bonding, especially if you have experienced tooth discolouration as a result of enamel erosion. The treatment involves applying resin, a tooth-coloured resin, to the front of your tooth. The resin is both functional and aesthetically-pleasing because it protects the tooth while reversing discolouration, stains and marks.

Visit us for an appointment before your sensitive teeth get in the way of everyday life!

Ow! What can you do about sensitive teeth?

Even though our teeth feel like they are inert pieces of rock cut to bite and chew, inside each of them are quite a few nerves, and they don’t hold back in letting us know when they are being activated. Toothache can take over your whole head, but there are other forms of transient pain that, in the moment, will get all your attention.

You might get a sudden pain when you bite into something cold like an ice cream, or sip an extra hot cup of tea.

Sensitive Teeth in EssexHere at Crofts Dental Practice in Essex, we refer to these pains as having sensitive teeth. There can be several causes of sensitive teeth and it’s important to find out which one is behind your transient pains so that something can be done about them.

Loss of tooth enamel

When your tooth enamel is being eroded, the nerves beneath it in the layer of softer dentin and in the soft pulp are that much nearer the surface of your tooth, and therefore more likely to be affected by extremes in temperature from sudden cold and hot substances.

Enamel can be eroded by a high sugar diet feeding plaque that gives off acids that cause erosion. It can also be eroded by brushing with too hard a brush, and also by some eating disorders.

Receding gums

When your gums start to recede, as can happen as we age or through gum disease, the tooth root under the gum can become exposed. The root has no protective enamel on it and is therefore much more sensitive.

Damaged teeth

You may have cracked a tooth or damaged the enamel in some other way, exposing a nerve.

Teeth whitening

Whitening the teeth can open the pores in your tooth enamel and this can lead to sensitivity. There are toothpastes to remineralise the enamel and make it less prone to sensation.

Whether yours is a fleeting pain or one that can go on for hours, it’s important to get it checked out. It may be symptomatic of something more serious that we can catch early and treat easily.

Teeth sensitivity

It could come as a surprise to hear, but as many as one in eight adults suffer with sensitive teeth at some point. When you suffer with sensitive teeth, daily activities such as brushing, flossing, drinking and even eating can cause jolts of extreme pain. Crofts Dental Practice can help.

Sensitive Teeth in EssexTooth sensitivity often results from worn down enamel. Enamel is the outermost layer of the tooth, designed to protect the root. When enamel is removed, the underlying dentin is exposed. These nerve endings can be stimulated by heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods, causing the quick jolt of pain that our patients in Essex with sensitive teeth will experience.

Is it something to worry about?

In some cases, tooth sensitivity can be indicative of a more serious problem. Cracked or chipped teeth, cavities, pressure from tooth grinding or dental procedures, such as whitening can all be causes of overly-sensitive teeth for many of our patients.

What can I do about it?

If you are concerned about sensitive teeth, you should have a chat with one of our dentists here at Crofts Dental Practice immediately. Our experienced dental team can alleviate the pain associated with sensitive teeth, as well as prevent further discomfort.

We can quickly and accurately identify, or rule out, the cause of your sensitive teeth and develop a treatment plan based on your individual needs. Currently, several options are available, based on the severity and frequency of the sensitivity you are suffering with.

Can I prevent sensitive teeth?

Prevention is always a much better option than treatment of an existing tooth sensitivity issue. Brushing twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush and toothpaste, as well as daily flossing, are the most important steps in achieving and maintaining proper oral hygiene. Avoiding tooth grinding, hard brushing and abrasive toothpaste are also important steps in the prevention of tooth sensitivity.

Our dentists may also choose to prescribe a mouth guard for patients who grind their teeth at night, as this can also help to prevent tooth sensitivity. Please call our practice for an appointment, as it’s never too late to start improving your oral health.