Glendowie Dental Centre

Sensitive Teeth

It is very hard for you to differentiate between the pain associated with tool sensitivity and other tooth problem.

Sensitive teeth is a common problem that causes sudden, short, sharp pain. It associates with very cold air, hot and cold drinks or sweet foods.  Some patients can experience sensitivity through brushing and flossing. Sensitivity can affect one or more teeth. Sometimes, it is very hard for patients to differentiate between the pain associated with tooth sensitivity and other tooth problems such as decayed teeth, root infection or crack teeth. Please call and arrange an appointment with Dr Gin Wong in order to find out the potential cause. Dr Gin Wong can help to diagnose and eliminate the potential causes by providing proper treatment.

Cause of Tooth Sensitivity

Two essential processes for the development of tooth sensitivity are the exposure of the inner layer of the tooth known as dentine and the presence of tubules within the dentine.  In the presence of an external stimulus such as cold air, hot, cold, sweet, sticky foods and drinks or during brushing and flossing, the fluid flow within the open dentine tubule stimulates the nerve inside the tooth and causes sensitivity. This pain may subsides quickly and does not cause any permanent damage to the tooth once the stimulus being removed.  However, the pain can be very unpleasant and prevent you from enjoying the drinks or foods.  It can also prevent you from maintaining proper oral hygiene and may develop into more serious condition if leave untreated for long period of time.

Cause of Dentine Exposure

A major cause of dentine exposure is the loss of enamel, the protective outer layer of the tooth crown.  Main causes of enamel loss are dental erosion caused by acidic foods and drinks.  Excessive brushing with medium or hard toothbrush bristle will cause excessive loss of tooth enamel.  Even aggressive brushing with soft toothbrush bristle with eventually causing the loss of tooth enamel.

Receeding Gums

Receeding gums, commonly known as ‘getting long in the tooth’ is another leading cause of dentine exposure. This recession occurs as a result of periodontal disease or commonly known as gum disease. Periodontal disease is caused by poor oral hygiene with plaque and tartar accumulation over long period of time. Periodontal disease with aggressive brushing will increase the rate of gum recession.

Other dental conditions that cause similar pain:

  • Crack tooth syndrome.
  • Chipped tooth.
  • Worn teeth exposing dentine such as grinding or clenching.
  • Dental decay.
  • Root infection.
  • Teeth whitening will cause sensitivity in the short term.
  • Broken or lost filling.
  • Teeth accident and concussed.