What can I do About Sensitive Teeth?

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  • Written By: Sherry Holetzky
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2019
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Many people suffer from sensitive teeth. Having sensitive teeth can mean a great deal of discomfort, sometimes on a daily basis. Discomfort may be sporadic or constant throughout the day. While it usually comes and goes, it is often directly related to some trigger, such as hot or cold food and drink or pressure applied to the teeth. The good news is there are things you can do to manage the discomfort and protect your teeth.

The clinical term for sensitive teeth is dentin hypersensitivity. It can occur for many reasons, but if the sensitivity is extreme or continuous, you should consult with your dentist. The underlying cause may be related to nerve problems affecting the teeth or may be due to poor oral care resulting in receding gums or gum disease. Bacteria within plaque and tartar can play a major role in causing gums to recede, so the use of a good antibacterial mouthwash may be helpful. Also, use a fluoride rinse with a high concentration of fluoride to help protect against plaque build up.


There are kits available for people with sensitive teeth, which offer toothpastes and other care products designed especially for sensitivity problems. A toothpaste made for sensitive teeth will generally include an agent to deaden pain at the roots. A kit may also supply a soft toothbrush or a gentle electric toothbrush to help you avoid brushing too hard. Brushing too strenuously can damage teeth, so taking care to brush more gently is an important step.

Another step you can take to protect sensitive teeth and limit pain is to avoid foods and drinks with high levels of acidity. The main culprits are soft drinks and tea, as well as various citrus fruits or foods and beverages with high concentrations of citric acid. To prevent sensitive teeth, avoid these items or immediately clean your teeth after consuming them, rather than allowing acids to sit on your teeth.

If you try everything but still suffer from sensitive teeth, ask your dentist about other treatment options. He or she may apply a substance directly to the roots to help ease your pain or apply prescription-strength fluoride treatments. He or she may also decide to bond your teeth to protect porous surfaces from damage or from penetration by foods and bacteria.


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Post 3

Why do i feel discomfort in my teeth after using some toothbrushes and paste? I use only medium or soft brushes as recommended by my dentists. With some of these brushes I feel absolutely great and with others I feel discomfort for the rest of the day. And yet my teeth do not react to cold, hot or any kind of food. Why is this? -- Ken

Post 2

In your article it says to avoid soft drinks and tea. It doesn't say anything about coffee. Is there something in tea (besides it being hot) that aggravates sensitive teeth?

Post 1

Why does hot tea bother sensitive teeth so much? on the web site it says that. I'm wondering what's in tea that makes my teeth hurt so much.

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