Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is characterized by the need for a stimulus (temperature, pressure) which makes the tooth react and the pain fades away quickly after the stimulation is removed. For example, you may notice pain with a cold drink but once the mouth warms up again, the sensation disappears.

A more serious toothache either doesn’t need a stimulus- it’s there all the time- or the pain takes more than moments to fade away.

Tooth brush abrasion- the most common sensitivity.

Cold will cause pain where the tooth meets the gum, usually the teeth from the canine back to the first molar. Stop brushing so hard! Be gentle yet thorough. Solution: after brushing with ordinary toothpaste, apply a tiny bit of sensitive toothpaste directly to the area with your finger, leave it there and walk away. Sensitive toothpastes work best in concentrated blobs, don’t brush with them.

Acid affected teeth

This sensitivity is generalized due to the teeth being bathed in an acid environment. This can be caused by drinking too many sweet or acidic drinks, or not drinking enough water. Not drinking enough water causes a decrease in the flow of saliva that would usually buffer the acid. DRINK MORE WATER. Pronamel toothpaste is formulated for treatment of acid affected teeth and may help. It’s easier just to drink more water.

If only the back lower molars are affected then it is usually due to reflux of stomach acids.

Cracked cusp

Short sharp pain in a single tooth on pressure and/or cold.  This usually indicates a crack in the tooth which causes pain when it flexes. This can be hard to find as the pain comes and goes and makes chewing like Russian roulette. We can remove the cracked piece and replace with a filling.


The pain can be with hot, cold, sweet or with chewing pressure but is a longer lasting pain than a crack. More of a dawning realization that something isn’t right. Come in.


Clenching and grinding is the stimulus that can lead to a generalized ache in a number of teeth, usually accompanied by stress at work/home. Your face will also feel tired as the muscles are tight for extended periods. Relax, try a holiday- always a good idea

Gum disease

A build up of plaque will cause the gum to come away from the tooth exposing the root surface. This is exposed area is sensitive to cold, hot and sweet and there is often a pressure feeling between the teeth. Try flossing, if it bleeds, keep going as you have gum disease.

Combination of all of the above

You have small children in the house, probably unwell, you are tired and run down.  Drink some water, floss your teeth, find a sitter so you can get some sleep and relax.


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