I have sensitive teeth - what can I do?

The good news is that effective treatment is available for the pain of sensitive teeth and the early gum disease that is often the underlying causes.

You can take action to end the pain and help stop gum disease in its tracks by:

  • asking your dentist to assess the problem and give you advice/treatment

  • using sensitive toothpastes everyday as you regular toothpaste 

How can I prevent my teeth from becoming sensitive

One in three adults experience sensitive teeth – but you don’t have to be one of them. While some thinning of the tooth enamel and some gum recession are inevitable with age, sensitivity is not. The following guidelines are designed to help you avoid many of the problems that can lead to sensitive teeth. 

Do remember that the tissues in your mouth (even enamel when it becomes thin) are easily damaged so treat them gently


Do brush your teeth before meals, to gain the most protective benefit from your toothpastes



Do rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking anything that contains sugar or acid



Do use a soft toothbrush with a small head and rounded bristles


Do use a low-abrasivity toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.


Do use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste


Do discuss your diet with your dentist



Do use sensitive toothpaste for at least 3 weeks before any professional or DIY tooth whitening program


Do visit your dentist regularly and seek prompt treatment and advice

Don’t brush too hard along the gum line, or floss too vigorously as you may damage the gums or wear grooves in your enamel

Don’t pick at your gums when using toothpicks as the gums are easily damaged


Don’t brush your teeth immediately after meals (especially if your meal has included any acidic food or drinks) as brushing when the mouth is in a ph acidic state can lead to increased enamel loss – always wait at least 30 minutes


Don’t eat sugary or acid snacks between meals, or use an acidic mouthwash (<pH5), as having the mouth in prolonged states of acidity increases the possibility of damage to the enamel


Don’t use too much toothpaste – you get the required therapy benefits from the recommended amount


Don’t use a hard toothbrush as it may lead to excessive enamel wear



Don’t use a high-abrasivity toothpaste as this may lead to excessive enamel wear


Don’t allow sensitivity to determine what you eat. Correct management will allow you to eat all foods


Don’t begin any dental whitening program without first discussing it with your dentist. Sensitivity can be one of the side effects of whitening treatment kits



Don’t leave fractured or chipped teeth unrepaired, or allow yourself to clench or grind your teeth, any exposed dentine as a result of trauma may become sensitive