Sensitivity is a condition characterized by a tingly feeling or a flash pinch of pain affecting one or more teeth. The pain associated with tooth sensitivity may happen constantly or intermittently. Intermittent tooth sensitivity can occur while ingesting hot or cold food or beverages, when cold air hits the teeth, or when an object contacts the teeth.
This can occur through a variety of factors, including gum recession, acidic liquids (such as soda) that cause enamel wear and dentin exposure, tooth grinding (in which case all teeth feel sensitive), brushing teeth too hard, which may cause enamel loss and dentin exposure, gum disease (periodontitis), or a chipped or fractured tooth. Also, inevitably as we age, enamel (the outer tooth surface) naturally wears down, exposing the dentin (the initial inner tooth surface) and causing sensitivity.
Our dentists may treat the affected teeth with special de-sensitising products to help relieve the symptoms.
Fluoride gels, rinses or varnishes can be applied to sensitive teeth. These can be painted onto the teeth at regular appointments one or two weeks apart, to build up some protection. Sensitivity can take some time to settle, and you may need to have several appointments.
If this still does not help, your dentist may seal or fill around the neck of the tooth, where the tooth and gum meet, to cover exposed dentine. In very serious cases it may be necessary to root-fill the tooth.