Knowing your teeth: Sensitivity


Sensitive is a reality of having teeth and most people are likely to experience at one time or another. Sensitive teeth can mean the difference between enjoying all those foods and drinks that you love and worrying that they will cause pain. This article will talk more about sensitivity and hopefully give you the knowledge to manage it better.


As mentioned above, sensitive teeth are experienced by most people at some point, but not everybody experiences persistent sensitivity. Normally sensitivity occurs when the teeth come into contact with hot, cold, sweet and/or sour food and drinks. The usual sign is a sharp pain that you can feel directly in your teeth and can be quite uncomfortable and put you off what you are doing.


Generally speaking sensitivity is caused by tooth enamel becoming worn down over time. This exposes the softer dentin underneath the enamel, this substance is much more sensitive and is the cause of the pain you are feeling, particularly when you do something like eating ice cream. Tooth enamel also protects teeth from plaque, acids and cavities, therefore it is of paramount importance to protect the this special protective layer.  

The best way to prevent sensitivity is to of course avoid food and drinks that are likely to trigger sensitivity. This solution is obviously not ideal as it means that you will need to stop having the things you enjoy, but the good news is that there are a number of ways to prevent and deal with sensitive teeth:

  • Toothbrushes – There are a number of special toothbrushes available for those with sensitive teeth and these tend to be much softer and are much gentler on the enamel of the teeth.
  • Mouthwashes and toothpastes – There are a number of mouthwashes and toothpastes that are specifically designed to strengthen enamel and desensitise the teeth slightly.
  • Dental treatments –  you can speak to your dentist about specific treatments that are possible, an example of this is dental bonding, which seals the dentin and prevents discomfort.

Other tips

Some other quick tips for reducing the impact of sensitivity of your teeth are not brushing too hard and using a toothpaste that is mild and not very abrasive.

About the dentist

Inspired Dental Care provides the best possible standards of dentistry, as well as invisible braces in Exeter.

246 High Street,
Exeter Devon, EX4 3NZ
01392 272385