When are sensitive teeth a good reason to go to the dentist?

Sensitive teeth aren’t exactly rare and if you never experience them, you almost certainly know someone who does. In reality, dental sensitivity is more common in 20 to 40-year-old women than any other group. Most of the time, it’s not a big issue but if you’ve tried to treat it yourself at home for the last 2 weeks and it is not getting better or has got worse, it is time to come see us, your friendly dentist inWrexham.

What causes temperature sensitivity?

Your teeth have a hard outer layer called enamel, it’s milky white and is largely opaque. Beneath it is the softer, yellowish spongy material dentine. Unlike enamel, dentine is porous and when exposed, teeth become sensitive, The enamel only extends to the gum line, with the root of a tooth made entirely of dentine. If the gum starts to recede, the dentine becomes exposed. But there are many reasons why the enamel may have been disrupted without receding gums.

Tooth whitening

The two most common methods of whitening teeth are abrasion, which can wear away the enamel, or bleaching which can chemically alter it, making it much more permeable.

Cracked tooth or filling

If the sensitivity is severe and came on suddenly, a cracked tooth or filling could well be the cause and you should book yourself in to see our team.

Tooth grinding

If it is the tips of your teeth which are sensitive, you could be grinding them in your sleep.

Over brushing

Yes, it can be caused by too much of a good thing! If you habitually brush your teeth too hard, you will eventually thin out your enamel and expose the dentine.

Dental erosion

The hardness of enamel comes from a lattice of calcium compounds. Unfortunately, it is chemically vulnerable to acids either from foods or acid reflux, which can break it down and once again expose the dentine.

What should I do to stop sensitivity?

If you haven’t tried already, you should first attempt to treat it yourself for 2 weeks. Get a high concentration fluoride-based toothpaste; it must be at least 1350ppm. There are many brands available from your local pharmacy or supermarket, and make the necessary lifestyle changes to prevent it progressing.

If tooth whitening has triggered your sensitivity, talk to us about strengthening the tooth. If you are self-whitening at home you should stop.

If the sensitivity is at the tip of your teeth, and you wake with muscle stiffness in your jaw you could be grinding your teeth during the night. Our dentist in Wrexham can help you with a custom mouthguard, but tooth grinding is a side-effect of some prescription medications so you should talk to your doctor first

Switching to a softer toothbrush and being more cautious when you brush will help prevent over-brushing and will allow the enamel to heal.

If there is no improvement in two weeks call us and we will book you in for a check-up with our dentist in Wrexham. Based on the pattern of the enamel thinning, it will not take long for us to see the causes of the sensitivity For many patients, a fluoride varnish or sealant should resolve the dental sensitivity.