We just love autumn at St Johns Road..

However, for some of you, autumn’s crisp cold air and sipping a  warm pumpkin spice latte may cause a shock of sensitivity to your teeth.

Sensitive teeth tend to be affected by extremities of temperature and tooth sensitivity can be more noticeable as the weather turns colder.

As with all dental problems, early diagnosis and treatment is important if you want to prevent more complicated dental procedures.

Many people suffer from sensitive teeth and it can start at any time.  According to the Oral Health Foundation, it is most common in people aged 20-40 although it can affect younger teenagers and those aged over 70.  It is also more common in women than men.

What causes sensitive teeth

Teeth have a protective layer of enamel which in turn protects the dentine underneath.  However, if this dentine is exposed then a tooth can become sensitive.

Here are some causes of tooth sensitivity:-

  1. Brushing your teeth too hard can wear away the enamel.
  2. Gums may naturally recede which exposes the roots of teeth and makes teeth more sensitive.  There is no enamel layer to protect root surfaces.
  3. Plaque or tartar build-up can also cause the gums to recede which can make tooth sensitivity worse.
  4. Grinding or clenching teeth can wear away tooth enamel and make teeth sensitive.
  5. A tooth with a crack that runs from the biting surface towards the root of the tooth can be affected.
  6. Tooth whitening in some patients for a short time after treatment.

What can St Johns Road Dental Practice do to help?

During the examination, our private dentist will look and discuss the possible cause of tooth sensitivity and the best treatment.  Treatments include local fluoride application and sealants.

What you can do to prevent tooth sensitivity

  1.  Limit sugary foods and fizzy or acidic drinks to just at meal-times.  Avoid drinks or foods that are overly hot or cold.
  2. Don’t brush teeth straight after eating as some food and drinks can soften tooth enamel.  Wait at least half an hour before brushing.
  3. Brush teeth using warm water if cold water brings on sensitivity.
  4. Brush last thing at night and one other time in the day.  Use a fluoride toothpaste which is designed for sensitive teeth and avoid brushing teeth side-to-side, instead use small circular movements with a soft medium-bristled brush.
  5. If you grind your teeth, speak to our dentist about having a mouthguard made to wear at night.
  6. If you are considering tooth whitening treatment, then discuss your concerns with our dentist before treatment.
  7. Lastly, keep up with your dental appointments.