Too Cold? Too Hot? You Might Have Sensitive Teeth

One of the biggest dental concerns across Australia is a very prevailing issue that can affect a person’s day-to-day life- Sensitive teeth! If sipping fresh brewed coffee makes your teeth hurt, if eating an ice cream makes your teeth freeze, or if brushing and/or flossing is a painful daily experience—you very likely are one of the many people with sensitive teeth.

Although sensitive teeth may be common, it should also be taken seriously.

The problem may start out small, with a small tooth ache during dessert or a quick wince while going through your morning dental routine. However, if your sensitive teeth go untreated, the problem will only get worse.

What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

Most people just think their teeth are more “sensitive” than the average person. It’s not possible to simply have sensitive teeth. Teeth become sensitive overtime through wear and decay. And the chances are, if you are suffering from sensitivity, it’s likely a sign of a serious underlying problem that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

The leading causes of sensitive teeth include:

  • Gum disease: Affects the entire mouth and can lead to tooth loss
  • Worn teeth: Affects one or multiple teeth
  • Leaky fillings: Affects one or multiple teeth that have had cavities in the past
  • Tooth decay: Affects one or multiple teeth, with cavities occurring in a visible area or non-visible area (like between two teeth)
  • Fractured teeth: Affects one or multiple teeth and can cause a serious dental emergency if ignored (hard foods can lead to the tooth erupting)
  • Exposed roots: Affects one or multiple teeth and leads to extreme pain and damage

Now, you might be reading this list and thinking, “Hmmm… there’s no way I have any of that!” but, if that’s the case, why are you suffering from sensitive teeth? The best thing for you to do is to go to the dentist now and have your teeth examined and find out the cause of your sensitivity. If it turns out that any of these problems are affecting your teeth (remember it just takes one issue with one tooth to cause sensitivity), early detection will save you significant time, money, and pain later on.

Remedies for Tooth Sensitivity

The following are some dental procedures that may reduce tooth sensitivity, according to the American Dental Association:

  • Bonding, crowns or inlays. These may fix a tooth cavity or decay that is causing sensitivity.
  • Fluoride gel.
  • Surgical gum graft. This will protect the root and reduce sensitivity if the gum tissue has eroded from the root.
  • Root canal. This is a last-resort treatment for severe tooth sensitivity. We have Becky with 36+ years of experience and specialisation ready for your help.

Prevention and Response

As we often say here at Chats Dental, prevention is the best medicine. Whether you’ve already been putting it off for months (or even years) or if you’ve just started noticing the tooth sensitivity, the sooner you get to the dentist, the better off you’ll be. These problems don’t just stop and go away by itself. They certainly won’t fix themselves (unless of course you’re Wolverine!). Seriously, issues like those listed above will only get worse and can lead to added pain and eventually tooth loss.

If you’re past due for a dental checkup, call Chats Dental today to make an appointment and let us find out the cause of your tooth sensitivity. I can assure you that you will be better off in the short and long run if you go ahead and have the problem addressed. Putting it off for another day may lead to costly complications and serious consequences down the road.

Dr. Catherine Yang, BDS (USyd)


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