Quiz: 7 easy questions to get to the bottom of your tooth sensitivity

So you have tooth sensitivity. I’m going to give you a quick and easy way to troubleshoot your tooth sensitivity. Sensitivity can sometimes be considered a normal part of life. It’s just something we feel and we deal with it. However, it is usually a sign that there is something wrong. Sensitive teeth can be due to:

tooth decay

worn down and cracked teeth

leaky fillings

gum problems

exposed root surfaces

underlying medical problems

This quiz will take you no more than 7 minutes. Write down your answer for each question then add up your a) b) c) d) answers. Use the Score Board at the end of this blog to get to the bottom of your tooth sensitivity! Remember if you would like a consultation, book in at Riverstone Family Dental: 8678 3538.

My tooth is sensitive mainly

a) when I have cold foods or drinks b) when I brush my teeth c) when I breathe d) all the above

My tooth sensitivity is relieved when

a) I drink warm water b) I place anti-sensitive toothpaste on my tooth c) I take painkillers d) …I never get relief

I brush my teeth with

a) a soft toothbrush b) a powered toothbrush c) a hard toothbrush d) …I don’t brush my teeth

I brush my teeth

a) very gently b) with average pressure c) very hard d) …unsure

I visited my dentist

a) within the last 6 months b) within the last 12 months c) within the last 3 years d) more than 3 years ago

On most days I drink

a) mainly tap water b) lemon in water throughout the day c) energy drinks, alcohol or sports drinks d) soft drinks, fruit juice or cordial

I have been experiencing this tooth sensitivity for

a) days b) weeks c) months d) years

Score Board

Mostly a) & b)

Temporary or occasional sensitivity can be due to mild wear and tear, whitening treatment, diet or lifestyle-related factors. Orange juice, soft drinks, wine, vinegar, tomatoes, and other acidic foods and drinks can wear away your tooth enamel and create sensitivity. Try reducing your intake of these foods or use a straw when you sip acidic drinks. I also recommend you avoid brushing your teeth straight after eating or drinking. Best to wait at least 30min and use anti-sensitive toothpaste with a soft toothbrush. If this does not work after two weeks, you may have a more complex underlying problem. For example, ongoing sensitivity can also be an early symptom of grinding your teeth at night or gastric disorders such as reflux.

Mostly c)

Your symptoms appear to be ongoing and could possibly be due to gum recession. Gum recession exposes the roots of your teeth which can lead to sensitivity. If you haven’t already, try using desensitising (anti-sensitivity) toothpaste for a couple of weeks. It works by blocking sensitivity signals in your tooth so ensure this toothpaste makes contact with your teeth for at least 2 minutes. If this does not help, your dentist can seal sensitive areas on your tooth or teeth. Remember, you do not have to live in pain and avoid certain foods and drinks, so if has been more than 6 months since your last dental check up, then get booking: 8678 3538.

Mostly d)

Severe tooth sensitivity can be a sign of deterioration of your gums and tooth decay. This can lead to an infection in your gums or jaw with pain, swelling, and risk of spreading to other parts of your body. It is best to find out the cause of your sensitivity as soon as possible by visiting your dentist.

Remember if you are avoiding brushing a painful area, are chewing on one side, avoiding certain foods, covering your mouth on cold days then you need to see your dentist!

More on Sensitive Teeth

When it comes to oral health, prevention is easier and less expensive than cure.

Need a caring, family dentist? Call Riverstone Family Dental on 8678 3538 today.


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