Category: Sensitive Teeth

Ow! Sensitive teeth!

If you get sharp, shooting pains in your teeth every now and then, especially when you eat or drink anything hot or cold, then you’ve got sensitive teeth in Bournemouth. What can you do about sensitive teeth? Well, it depends what is causing the pain, so the first thing to do is get yourself to us at Castle Lane Dental Care and we can find out what is causing your sensitivity.

Sensitive Teeth in BournemouthThe cause of sensitive teeth

Sensitive teeth mean that somehow the nerves in your teeth are nearer to the surface than they should be, and they are being affected by sudden changes in temperature.

Sensitivity is often caused by the enamel, the hard outer shell, of your teeth becoming thin. Brushing with too hard a brush can wear it away, as can using abrasive toothpastes. But it could be because your gums are receding and exposing the roots of your teeth, which have no enamel on them but rely on the gums for protection.

It could also be that you have sustained some other damage to your teeth, a crack or a chip that goes through the enamel to the dentine below.

Or maybe you have recently had your teeth whitened and this has left your teeth feeling more sensitive.

Whatever the cause, it can be very annoying if you have to give up your favourite hot coffee or cold ice creams. Sensitive teeth may also be indicative of a more serious problem, so it’s very important that you come to us so that we can find out what is going on and finding a way to deal with it.


Dentists can rebuild lost gums these days, with gum grafts where we take gum tissue from somewhere else in your mouth where it is more plentiful and use it cover over the exposed roots.

With damage, we can cover it over with veneers to preserve the tooth and protect the exposed nerve.

If whitening is the cause, you can use a high-fluoride product to help remineralise your teeth and a toothpaste containing potassium nitrate to soothe your nerve endings.

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Wondering about your sensitive teeth?

If you have sensitive teeth, you’ll be having problems eating or drinking things that are hot or cold. As winter turns up, you may find being out in the cold wind can hurt too. But what is causing your sensitive teeth in Bournemouth and is there anything you can ask us at Castle Lane Dental Care to do for you?

Let’s take a look at some causes of sensitive teeth.

Sensitive Teeth in BournemouthGum trouble

As we age, and/or if we have gum disease, the gums start to recede, exposing the roots of the teeth. Roots don’t have protective enamel on them, so the nerves are much nearer the surface and are more likely to react to hot and cold.

If you think this is the cause of your sensitive teeth, come and see us.

Loss of enamel

The enamel on your teeth can wear thin, bringing the nerves nearer to the surface of your teeth, where they can react to temperature changes more easily.

What can cause this loss of enamel? It could be one or some of the following:

  • A toothbrush that is too hard, eroding the enamel away
  • Using toothpastes that erode the enamel
  • Using too much mouthwash
  • Grinding your teeth at night
  • Drinking too many acidic drinks
  • Eating disorders, such as bulimia.

Basically, enamel is eroded by acids dissolving it or friction wearing it away. Once we have worked out what is causing it, we can take steps to reduce the erosion. For example, we can fit you with a mouthguard to stop you grinding your teeth at night, or change your toothbrush or toothpaste to something gentler. If you are a big fan of acidic drinks, you can learn to swill your mouth out with water after consumption.

Problems with your teeth

You may find that your sensitivity is happening because you have a cracked tooth, or tooth decay. We can take a look and then find a way to fix the problem. Veneers are a very good way to protect cracked teeth, and decay can be removed and a filling then put in to protect your tooth.

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Do you dread ice cream?

If the thought of an ice cream or crunchy apple makes you grimace then you are probably familiar with the discomfort that some foods can cause. Many people have sensitive teeth in Bournemouth and it can happen at any time. Women are more likely to be affected than men and it is most common in people aged between 20 and 40, although it can start in your early teens and affect older patients too. At Castle Lane Dental Care, we hear how debilitating it is for people who cannot enjoy cold foods and drinks or even experience sensitivity due to cold air, acidic or sweet food or heat.

Sensitive Teeth in BournemouthWhy are my teeth sensitive?

Enamel is the hard part of the tooth which protects the sensitive dentine underneath. Unfortunately, the enamel can become weakened or thin due to damage, eating disorders, over-vigorous brushing, lack of dental care, age, medical conditions or tooth grinding. When the enamel can no longer protect the vulnerable dentine, pain can be the unpleasant result.

How can I resolve sensitive teeth?

Keeping your teeth as strong and healthy as possible is important so a good diet is essential, as well as regular check-ups with a dentist and an effective routine of dental care at home. You can also avoid triggers, such as cold or acidic food. There is also a range of toothpastes available which can help relieve the symptoms when used regularly.

When it comes to brushing, it is best to use a brush which is not worn and clean your teeth in gentle circular movements. Avoid brushing immediately after eating as some foods can make the enamel softer and more vulnerable to damage.

If you experience problems which you cannot resolve yourself, it is important to come and see us. We can identify the cause of your sensitivity, offer treatment to strengthen the enamel and suggest a programme of care which should resolve any issues. If you grind your teeth then a specially fitted mouth guard can protect your teeth at night.

Please do get in touch with us to find out how we can help you ease the pain and inconvenience of sensitive teeth.

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Why do my teeth hurt?

People who have sensitive teeth in Bournemouth can experience anything from a mild twinge to severe pain which can last for several hours. It is most likely to happen when you are eating or drinking something cold or your teeth are exposed to cold air. It can sometimes also occur when you are eating something hot, sweet or acidic. Avoiding triggers and taking precautions, such as brushing your teeth with warm water can help but you do need to seek help from your dentist. At Castle Lane Dental Care we can assess the reasons for your sensitive teeth and devise a personalised care plan to reduce the pain, protect your teeth and resolve the problem.

Sensitive Teeth in BournemouthWhat causes sensitive teeth?

The visible part of our teeth has a layer of enamel which protects the softer dentine underneath. The enamel is thinnest where the gum meets the teeth and can wear away. When this dentine is exposed, the tooth becomes sensitive. While lack of dental care can be a cause, there are many other reasons why the enamel can become thin. Brushing too hard and brushing from side to side can result in abrasion, particularly where the gum and teeth join. It can also be caused by acidic food and drinks as the acid attacks the enamel, resulting in weakness. Gums can also shrink back, exposing the vulnerable root, due to aging or because they are diseased due to plaque or tartar build-up. Some people grind their teeth which wears the enamel away.

What treatments are available?

When you come for an appointment, we will talk to you about your symptoms, identify the cause of your sensitivity and suggest treatment to tackle it. Applications of fluoride can strengthen the enamel or we can fill or seal vulnerable areas. The discomfort can take some time to improve and you may need several appointments. We will also advise you on how to protect your enamel and reduce the risk of sensitivity recurring.

There is no need to endure the pain of sensitive teeth. Enjoy your food again and talk to us about how we can help deal with the issues you are experiencing.

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