Sensitive Teeth FAQs

Here is a list of the most commonly asked questions about sensitive teeth.

  1. What are sensitive teeth?
  2. What causes sensitive teeth?
  3. Who is most likely to get sensitive teeth?
  4. How common are sensitive teeth?
  5. Does grinding your teeth cause sensitive teeth?
  6. How do you treat sensitive teeth?
  7. Is Colgate the best toothpaste to use on sensitive teeth?
  8. Can teeth whitening cause sensitive teeth?
  9. What is a composite filling?
  10. Can you prevent sensitive teeth?

Q1. What are sensitive teeth?

A1. Sensitive teeth is a condition in which someone experiences a sharp pain or twinge after consuming hot or cold foods (and drinks). The pain caused by sensitive teeth varies from mild through to severe.

Find out more in our sensitive teeth section.

Q2. What causes sensitive teeth?

A2. There are several causes of sensitive teeth which include age, tooth decay, gum disease, teeth grinding, forceful toothbrushing and broken or chipped teeth.

Other reasons include teeth whitening treatment and a diet high in sugary foods and drinks.

These are discussed in greater detail in our causes of sensitive teeth section.

Q3. Who is most likely to get sensitive teeth?

A3. Sensitive teeth are more likely to occur in people aged between 20 and 35-40. However it becomes more of a problem as we age.

Women appear to be more affected than men. The reason for this is that women find that changes in their hormone levels during this time cause tissues in the mouth to soften and blood circulation to increase.

Both of these increase gum and teeth sensitivity.

Q4. How common are sensitive teeth?

A4. This is a very common condition which affects more than half of the population in the UK. In fact most people will experience sensitive teeth at some time in their lives so statistically; you are more than likely to develop this condition.

Q5. Does grinding your teeth cause sensitive teeth?

A5. Yes, teeth grinding or ‘bruxism’ is one of the most common reasons for sensitive teeth. The continual friction of the teeth results in a wearing away of the outer layer or enamel of the tooth which increases the risk of sensitivity.

Teeth grinding is caused by several factors, the main one being stress and/or anxiety. But as this usually occurs during the night this means that it is difficult to know if someone grinds their teeth or not.

This is discussed further in our teeth grinding section.

Q6. How do you treat sensitive teeth?

A6. Sensitive teeth can be treated at home but it is preferable to find out the cause behind this condition.

Visit your dentist if you experience pain or discomfort in your teeth as this requires further investigation. There are several dental conditions such as tooth decay or gum disease which cause sensitive teeth.

Your dentist will examine your teeth in order to determine the cause of this problem. He or she will devise a course of treatment based upon this diagnosis.

Treatment for sensitive teeth can take the form of fluoride gels which are applied to the affected teeth. This is carried out every two weeks to help build up a protective layer on the teeth.

Other options include composite fillings, root canal treatment, crowns or veneers. The treatment you receive will depend upon the cause of your sensitive teeth.

This is covered in more detail in our treatment for sensitive teeth section.

Q7. Is Colgate the best toothpaste to use on sensitive teeth?

A7. Colgate is a popular brand of toothpaste. They have a type of toothpaste which is specially developed to treat sensitive teeth but there are other options as well.

You have more than one type of toothpaste to choose from so weigh up all the choices before making a decision.

Want to know more? Then visit our toothpaste for sensitive teeth section.

Q8. Can teeth whitening cause sensitive teeth?

A8. Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dentistry treatment which removes stains and other signs of wear and tear on the teeth. It bleaches the teeth white as a form of facial enhancement.

This treatment is often performed as part of a smile makeover or to give someone a ‘Hollywood Smile’.

But it can cause problems for people who have sensitive teeth. The treatment uses peroxide to bleach the teeth white and this bleach can leak out into the teeth and gums causing pain and sensitivity.

The extent of this sensitivity varies between people.

Find out more in our teeth whitening section.

Q9. What is a composite filling?

A9. This is a type of filling which is often preferred to the silver amalgam filling. It is white in appearance which means that it matches the colour of your teeth and is seen as safer and better looking as well.

It is comprised of a range of materials such as ceramic and silicate and is considered stronger and more durable than amalgam. Plus it helps to restore a decayed tooth to nearly perfect condition.

This type of filling is carried out to repair a decayed, cracked or chipped tooth. If you have tooth decay which is causing sensitive teeth then this type of filling is one of several treatment options.

This is discussed in more detail in our bonding for sensitive teeth section.

Q10. Can you prevent sensitive teeth?

A10. The answer to that is yes. Like many dental conditions, sensitive teeth are preventable if you follow a good dental care routine, limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks and avoid grinding your teeth.

Avoid biting on hard foods or brushing your teeth too hard.

Learn more about ways of reducing this risk in our preventing sensitive teeth section.