People who suffer from tooth sensitivity avoid daily activities such as consuming hot or cold foods and beverages as well as brushing their teeth.

Does this sound like you?

The part of the tooth we can see in our mouth, is the layer of enamel that protects the softer dentine underneath. If the dentine is exposed, a tooth can become sensitive. This is common where the tooth and the gum meet, as the enamel here is much thinner.

What are the causes of sensitivity?

  • Brushing too hard – This can cause enamel to be worn away – particularly in thinner areas.
  • Dental erosion – This is loss of tooth enamel caused by attacks of acid from acidic food and drinks.
  • Recession – Your gums over time can naturally shrink back and the roots of the teeth (usually hidden by gum) will become exposed. Root surfaces do not have an enamel layer to protect them and so are inherently sensitive.
  • Tooth decay – Cavities, wear and tear, failing fillings and breaks can all expose the dentin of your tooth.
  • Gum disease – A buildup of plaque can cause the gum to recede down the tooth and even destroy the bony support that anchors your teeth. Gum disease irreversibly changes the mouth creating areas of increased food trapping. This can lead to other issues like cavities which will in turn increase the sensitivity further.
  • Tooth grinding – This is a habit which involves clenching and grinding your teeth. This can cause the enamel of the teeth to be worn away or damaged leading to sensitivity.
  • A cracked tooth.

How can I prevent sensitive teeth?

  • Brush your teeth last thing at night and at least one other time during the day, with fluoride toothpaste containing at least 1350ppm (parts per million) of fluoride.
  • Consider using toothpaste specially designed for sensitive teeth.
  • Use a fluoride mouthwash after meals – This will help cleanse the mouth from acids and sugars.
  • Use small, circular movements with a soft to medium bristled brush. Try to avoid brushing your teeth aggressively from side to side.
  • Change your toothbrush every 2-3 months, or sooner if it becomes worn.
  • Don’t brush straight after eating – Some foods and drinks can soften the enamel of your teeth, so wait at least 45mins before you brush to prevent excessive wear.
  • Reduce the intake of sugary and acidic food and drinks. Limit them to just mealtimes.
  • Nightguard – If you clench or grind your teeth, then we need to make you a night guard to protect your teeth long term.
Back to Care and Advice

Get in touch


View All Testimonials


Priors Hall Dental

location icon

4 Holland Square, Hampstead Road, NN17 5GT

Opening hours

hours icon

Monday - Thursday: 8am – 8pm

Friday: 9am - 3pm

Weekends & Evenings: by appointment only

see you soon thumb1
See you soon
Book Online
see you soon thumb2
Google Rating