Sensitive Teeth

How to Combat Sensitive Teeth

Around 45 percent of Australian households have at least one member with sensitive teeth. According to many dentists, having sensitive teeth means that whenever you expose them to cold or hot drinks, cold air, or even during some dental procedures, you experience a sharp and short pain.

The most common cause of sensitive teeth is gum recession. If you brush your teeth too hard or are in the running for periodontal disease, gums recede, and small openings in your tooth’s root may become exposed and opened further by food and beverages. The open holes then expose your nerves which can cause discomfort.

However, there can be several other reasons for sensitive teeth, which means the best way to combat it is to take a trip to the dentist and find out if you have any other underlying problems. Depending on the results of your check-up, the following desensitising methods could help.


There are several desensitising toothpastes on the market that can help to desensitise your teeth. Apply a thin layer on the exposed tooth roots every evening before you go to bed.


If you have sensitive teeth because you have brushed too hard, then try using a soft-bristled brush. While your gums may already be recessed, there’s no harm in stopping them from going any further. Follow this up with fluoridated mouthwash every day.

Choose Food Wisely

Highly acidic teeth don’t do sensitive teeth any favours, so avoid them where possible. Acidic food can also cause sensitivity to worsen.

Don’t Grind Your Teeth

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a common affliction that affects over 40 million people globally, according to the American Dental Association. The wearing down of your teeth can cause them to become quite sensitive. See your dentist about getting to the cause of your teeth grinding, but reduce the risk of damage in the meantime by considering wearing a mouth guard to bed. Talk to your dentist about your options.

Other Options

If conventional, everyday approaches to teeth sensitivity don’t work, then it might be time for your dentist to take a closer look. They might recommend a crown or bonding due to a teeth flaw, or even a fluoride varnish or gel. If something severe is causing your teeth sensitivity, then your dentist may also suggest a root canal.

Sensitive teeth can be an annoyance on its own, but it can also relate to several dental conditions that can cause even more significant problems later on. If you suffer from sensitivity and no over-the-counter methods seem to be effective, then see your dentist without delay. The problem could be bigger than general sensitivity, with dental intervention necessary to get to the root cause.