Tooth sensitivity FAQs

  • Dentinal hypersensitivity, or tooth sensitivity, is a common dental problem that can arise when dentine, the inner part of the tooth, becomes exposed. It’s a condition that can develop over time, as a result of common problems such as receding gums and enamel wear.

    Find out What Causes Sensitive Teeth

  • Tooth sensitivity can start to happen when the softer, inner part of the tooth called ‘dentine’ becomes exposed. Dentine lies under the enamel and the gums. Thousands of microscopic channels run through the dentine towards the centre of the tooth. Once the dentine is exposed, external triggers (such as a cold drink) can stimulate the nerves inside the tooth, resulting in the characteristic short, sharp pain of tooth sensitivity.

    See What Causes Sensitive Teeth to find out more 

  • Talk to your dentist about the symptoms you are experiencing. They can confirm that tooth sensitivity is the cause of your problem and then advise you on how to care for sensitive teeth, for example, what is the best toothbrushing technique for you, how often and when. In addition, you can relieve the painful symptoms of tooth sensitivity by changing your regular toothpaste to a daily use toothpaste specially formulated to treat sensitive teeth, such as Sensodyne

    See Ongoing Oral Care For Sensitive Teeth to find out more 

  • A range of things can trigger a twinge or tooth pain for people with sensitive teeth. Here’s some of the most common triggers for tooth sensitivity:

    • Cold foods or beverages
    • Hot foods or beverages
    • Sugary foods
    • Sour foods
    • Breathing in cold air
    • Brushing teeth  

    See Common Triggers of Sensitive Teeth to find out more.

  • Yes. Sensitive teeth may affect as many as 1 in 3 people, even young adults. Most sufferers are between 20 and 50 years old.

  • There can be many different causes of dental pain other than tooth sensitivity. So if you are feeling any tooth pain or discomfort, especially if it persists, the best thing you can do is visit your dentist and seek professional advice. 

    See Other Reasons for Sensitivity to find out more. 

  • Brushing overly aggressively or more frequently than your dentist recommends can contribute to gum recession and wear enamel. Over time, receding gums and enamel loss can lead to exposed dentine and tooth sensitivity.

    See Other Reasons for Sensitivity to find out more 

  • Tooth whitening here means whitening treatments carried out under the supervision of your dentist. These treatments contain bleaching agents (peroxide), which are known to cause sensitivity in some patients. This is not the same as dentinal hypersensitivity, which happens as a result of having exposed dentine (the softer, inner part of the tooth). Speak to your dentist about bleaching-related sensitivity if you are considering having a tooth whitening treatment. 

    See do Whitening Treatments Cause Sensitivity for more information

Acid erosion FAQ's:

  • The wearing away of enamel, caused by acid in our diet, is called "Acid Wear." As few as four acidic "occasions" throughout the day can put our enamel at risk from acid wear. If your tooth enamel is at risk of acid wear, ask your dentist about the issue, for dietary advice, how best to consume the many acidic foods and drinks in the modern diet and the best oral hygiene routine for you.  

    To learn more go to ProNamel.com

  • Over time, acidic foods and drinks can cause your teeth enamel to wear down. These include fruit and fruit juices, carbonated drinks, black coffee or tea, wine and anything that tastes sharp, like ketchup or salad dressing. To help protect your teeth against acid erosion, talk to your dentist and use a fluoride toothpaste specially developed for people at risk of acid wear, such as Pronamel. Ask your dentist for dietary advice on the best oral hygiene routine for you and how best to consume the many acidic foods and drinks in the modern diet. 

    To learn more, go to ProNamel.com.

  • Yes. Acid erosion can contribute to enamel wear. Enamel is the hard outer layer of a tooth. Although it’s harder than any other substance in the body, with time it can gradually be worn away to expose the layer of dentine beneath, which may lead to tooth sensitivity. 

Frequent Questions about toothpaste for sensitivity