Do you suffer from sensitivity when eating cold food or drink? You may have “abrasion lesions”. This occurs when the outer protective enamel is worn away by inaccurate brushing techniques and force exposing the softer inner part of our tooth structure, known as dentine. The dentine is much more porous than the enamel meaning cold or sweet food or drinks will directly stiumulate the underlying tooth nerves. The twinge you feel is just a way of your nerve telling you that it is irritated.

This commonly occurs on part of the tooth closest to the gum margin as the enamel is thinnest there. As enamel and dentine is worn away by toothbrush and abrasive toothpaste, a concave cavity forms. If the cavity is not treated, it can further progress to the nerve resulting in a toothache. Additionally, it is also a defect that retains food and bacteria leading to a poorer oral hygiene.

There can be other causes of dentine exposure. These include tooth grinding; gum recession and gum disease. Your dentist can review your teeth on your next appointment and advise you on the cause of the problem. If its inaccurate tooth brushing techniques, your dentist will demonstrate the correct brushing strokes. If you are a grinder, your dentist can make you a night guard called a splint to protect your teeth from being worn away. If you suffer from gum disease, then it is important to treat your gums so that your gum and bone can remain strong and healthy.

Recently I had a new patient who’s abrasion cavities were so deep that I could see a blush of pink nerves underneath. I immediately filled her cavity with dental material, a composite resin, before it progressed to involve her nerves. I reviewed her brushing techniques and realised she was using the inappropriate brush and toothpaste and applied inaccurate brushing strokes. I switched her onto soft bristle brush head, and sensitive toothpaste, and we modified the brushing techniques.

Don’t brush off tooth sensitivity. Come in and speak to our friendly team of dentists and we can help improve those sensitivities.

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