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Tooth sensitivity (also known as dentine hypersensitivity) commonly appears as a pain due to temperature changes, pressure, sweet and acidic food or drink. This reaction may be mild or intense. The classic example is eating ice cream, but simply being out in the cold weather is sometimes enough to set off the problem. Sensitivity to touch can also lead to pain due to tooth-brushing.
Research shows that one in three people in the UK suffer from sensitive teeth at any one time. Dentine hypersensitivity can occur from 15 to 70 years of age or more, however the age group when it occurs most is between 20 and 40 years.Triggers of tooth sensitivity and the severity will change from person to person, although the most causative factors are :-
Any teeth can be affected but the most likely are those at the front corners of the mouth. It is suggested that this might be because these are the teeth which tend to be brushed more vigorously. This leads to the removal of enamel and the exposure of the sensitive under-layer called dentine.It is thought that there are two general ways in which this sensitivity can develop :
Diet also plays a role in tooth sensitivity. If there is a high amount of acid in the diet this will lead to acid erosion, causing enamel to be removed from the tooth surface. This will then lead to sensitivity.