Understanding Tooth Sensitivity: Prevention and Treatment Options

As dental professionals at Limes Dental Practice, we encounter numerous patients who experience tooth sensitivity. This common dental issue can disrupt your daily life, making eating, drinking, and even breathing uncomfortable. As your trusted dentist in Gloucester, we aim to provide insight into tooth sensitivity, its prevention, and available treatment options.

What is Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity, medically known as 'dentine hypersensitivity', is a sharp or throbbing tooth pain that occurs when your teeth are exposed to certain stimuli such as cold, heat, sweet or acidic foods, cold air, and rigorous tooth brushing or flossing. The pain is often quick and sharp, but it is temporary.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity arises when the protective layers of your teeth are worn down, exposing the dentine. Dentine is the softer, inner part of the tooth that is usually protected by enamel in the crown and a layer called cementum in the root. So when it gets exposed, the nerve endings get irritated by heat, cold, sweet or acidic foods, leading to tooth sensitivity.

Common causes of tooth sensitivity include:

  • Tooth decay or cavities
  • Fractured or chipped teeth
  • Worn-down fillings or crowns
  • Gum disease
  • Excessive plaque
  • Aggressive tooth brushing
  • Acidic foods
  • Teeth grinding or clenching
  • Receding gums

Prevention of Tooth Sensitivity

As your local dentist in Gloucester, we recommend the following measures to prevent tooth sensitivity:

Good Oral Hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene is paramount in preventing tooth sensitivity. Brush twice a day and floss regularly to remove plaque and food particles. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid aggressive brushing.

Healthy Diet

Limit acidic foods and drinks such as citrus fruits, wine, and yoghurt as they can wear down tooth enamel. When you do consume these foods, it's best to have them with meals to minimise their contact with your teeth.

Regular Dental Check-ups

Regular visits to your dentist in Gloucester can help identify and treat dental issues before they lead to tooth sensitivity.

Importance of Early Detection and Intervention

As we delve deeper into the subject of tooth sensitivity, it's important to highlight the significance of early detection and intervention. At Limes Dental Practice, your local dentist in Gloucester, we advocate for timely identification of symptoms to prevent further tooth damage and severe discomfort. The sooner the root cause of tooth sensitivity is identified, the easier it is to treat and manage. Regular dental check-ups play a crucial role in early detection, as we can diagnose and address issues before they escalate into severe sensitivity. This proactive approach to dental care not only safeguards your comfort but also preserves your overall oral health.

Treatment Options for Tooth Sensitivity

At Limes Dental Practice, we offer several treatment options for tooth sensitivity:

Desensitising Toothpaste

Desensitising toothpaste contains compounds that help block sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve. It often requires several applications before the sensitivity is reduced.


Fluoride is an important element in combating tooth sensitivity. It strengthens tooth enamel and reduces pain. Your dentist in Gloucester can apply fluoride to the sensitive areas of your teeth to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce pain.

Dental Procedures

If tooth sensitivity persists, professional treatments such as fillings, crowns, inlays or bonding may be necessary. In severe cases, root canal treatment might be the most effective solution.


If you grind your teeth, your dentist in Gloucester may recommend a mouthguard to protect your teeth from damage and reduce sensitivity.

Lifestyle Modifications for Reducing Tooth Sensitivity

In addition to the preventive measures and treatment options we've discussed, lifestyle modifications can also contribute significantly to reducing tooth sensitivity. One such modification is managing stress, as stress can often lead to teeth grinding or clenching, causing tooth wear and sensitivity. Techniques such as yoga, meditation, or other stress-reduction practices can help manage this. Furthermore, reducing alcohol and tobacco consumption can also help in maintaining the health of your gums and teeth. Remember, your lifestyle choices can have a significant effect on your oral health, and small changes can go a long way in maintaining a healthy and sensitive-free smile.

In conclusion, tooth sensitivity is a common but manageable condition. At Limes Dental Practice, we believe that with the right preventive measures and appropriate treatment, you can keep this discomfort at bay. Remember, every tooth in your mouth is precious. Let's take care of them together.