29 Gladstone St
Moonee Ponds 3039
03 9370 5585
www.mooneevaledental.com.au

Sensitive teeth

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Did you know that despite tooth sensitivity being an important research topic for dentists, we still don't understand it fully?
We think that the pain of tooth sensitivity occurs due to the movement of fluid within part of the tooth structure. This theory is called the hydrodynamic theory (e.g. hydo meaning fluid, and dynamic indicating movement). What we do know it that people are living healthier, more active lives for longer and we want our teeth to come on the journey with us.
If your teeth are sensitive to cold or brushing we need to sort out if the problem is sensitivity or other things like cracked teeth or decay.

In the case of sensitive - YOU - are the best at preventing and treating this condition.
Things to think about and try:

  • Don't brush so hard - but make sure you don't shorten the time brushing - just do it with less vigor
  • Use a soft toothbrush
  • Reduce acid drinks or foods to meal times
  • Drink through a straw
  • Rinse your mouth with water and avoid brushing for 35 minutes after acid
  • Wear a night splint if you are grinding

More...

Desensitising tooth pastes, why and how?
Why do teeth become sensitive?
Prevention of sensitive teeth

Desensitising tooth pastes, why and how?
Generally tooth pastes advertised as effective for sensitive teeth can take two weeks of use twice a day to show some reduction in sensitivity. These should be used per manufacturers instructions. Alternatively to using just as a toothpaste it may be effective to place a small quantity of the toothpaste on the sensitive tooth/teeth and leave it for 5 minutes before rinsing it off. Tooth pastes for sensitive teeth generally have potassium salts as their active ingredient. These potassium ions pass easily though the enamel and dentine to the pulp where it is believed they act by interfering with the transmission of stimuli.

Why do teeth become sensitive?
As a result of gum recession and thinning of enamel or loss of enamel (Enamel is the outer protective surface of the tooth) you may allow the inner material of the tooth (dentine) to come into contact with something that irritates it.teeth
Within teeth is a cavity in which nerves and blood vessels live and the nerves can become irritated by temperature changes, chemical irritation or changes in pressure. It is important to see your dentist to work out the cause of sensitivity. Decay or cracks can cause sensitivity, which require treatment to prevent or treat a serious dental problem.

Prevention of sensitive teeth

  1. Good cleaning: make sure you are cleaning to remove the bacteria around teeth without damaging the gums or teeth.

  2. Diet: Limit acid which abrades the protective covering on teeth.

 

But it is starting to come back

If you managed to stop the pain of sensitive teeth and it is starting to come back make sure you get it checked out by the dentist. It may be a different problem. Also think about whether you have had lots of acid in your diet; are you using too much toothpaste when you brush; are you brushing from the gums to the teeth and not taking out all your stress try to saw your teeth in half!

We understand that, while not life threatening or a serious dental problem, having sensitive teeth is annoying and unpleasant. In a review of dental literature (ADJ  vol 51: Sept 2006) http://www.ada.org.au/_ADJSep06.asp identified many different treatment options for helping relieve pain from having the dentine of the tooth irritated.

 

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Dr George Politis  B.D.Sc (University of Melbourne) F.I.C.C.D.E.
Dr Khanh Nguyen 
B.D.Sc (Hons) (University of Queensland)

Mooneevale Dental

29 Gladstone St
Moonee Ponds 3039
Phone: 03 9370 5585

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