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Sensitive Smiles: Effective Dental Hygienist Treatments for Tooth Sensitivity

A man suffering with a toothache
Man serving with tooth sensitivity

Key Takeaways:

  • Causes of Tooth sensitivity: Sensitivity may result from enamel erosion, cavities, gingival recession, grinding, brushing aggressively and gum recession.
  • Hygienist Role: Hygienists perform deep cleans, fluoride treatments, and rigid care plans to help patients successfully overcome sensitivity.
  • At Direct Dental Wandsworth, we understand how tooth sensitivity can disrupt your life. Our dedicated dental hygienists have the knowledge and tools to treat sensitive teeth effectively.

Sensitive tooth pain is a widespread problem that negatively affects millions of people and makes it harder to perform routine tasks involving eating, drinking, and teeth cleaning. This commonly arises due to the exposed dentin—the tooth enamel armour’s layer—the sensitivity of which may cause pain when stimuli activate the nerve endings. This blog will show how dental hygienists overcome several sensitive teeth issues and how these interventions benefit patients.

What can cause teeth sensitivity?

Several factors can cause teeth sensitivity:

  • Enamel Erosion: Acidic foods, beverages, and stomach acid can wear away the protective enamel, making the teeth sensitive.
  • Tooth Decay: Cavities expose the sensitive dentin underneath the enamel.
  • Gum Recession: Pulling back of the gums exposes the roots of the teeth, which are not covered by enamel.
  • Cracked Teeth: A cracked tooth can expose the dentin and even reach the nerve, causing sensitivity.
  • Teeth Grinding: Also known as bruxism, grinding can wear down enamel and expose underlying dentin.
  • Recent Dental Work: Procedures like fillings, crowns, and tooth bleaching can temporarily increase tooth sensitivity.
  • Periodontal Disease: Infections in the gums can lead to inflammation and recession, exposing sensitive areas.
  • Aggressive Brushing: Using a hard toothbrush or brushing too vigorously can wear down enamel and cause gum recession.
  • Root Canal: After a root canal, the treated tooth might experience temporary sensitivity as the area heals
  • Receding Gums: When the gums recede, they expose the roots of the teeth, which are covered by a softer layer called cementum.

The Role of Dental Hygienists in Managing Tooth Sensitivity

Dental hygienists are well-versed professionals who get involved in preventive oral health care; therefore, they are vital team members in treating the sensitivity of teeth.

They provide a range of treatments, from deep cleaning and root planning to applying fluoride varnishes, which are helpful for pretty sensitive teeth. Hygienists may do so by getting rid of plaque and calculus, specifically in the area beneath the gum line most prone to inflammation. As this is one of the primary causes of recession, it will lead to sensitivity if uncontrolled. Also, fluoride treatments from hygienists help strengthen the tooth’s enamel and isolate the transmission of sensations to the nerve that makes instant cease from the pain.

Dental Treatment for Sensitive Teeth: The Benefits

Treatments performed by dental hygienists offer numerous benefits for individuals experiencing tooth surface sensitivity:

Prevention of Further Sensitivity

Hygienists clean occasionally to help maintain enamel health by keeping barriers further to the underlying dentin. This helps prevent sensitive teeth in the future.

Immediate Symptom Relief

Desensitising treatments, such as fluoride application, may reduce the severity and frequency of attacks, thus improving the patient’s quality of life.

Customised Care Plans

Before recommending any proceeding, every dental hygienist identifies patient needs and applies a specific treatment plan. They concentrate on the most sensitive areas and develop a personalised care program.

Helpful Advice

Hygienists are well-equipped to offer valuable guidance on managing sensitivity from the comfort of your own home. To manage teeth sensitivity effectively, brush gently with soft strokes and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid further damage.

If you grind your teeth, consider using a mouth guard to prevent fractures and sensitivity. Limit acidic foods and beverages like soda, citrus, and wine, and use a straw to minimise enamel exposure. Rinse your mouth with water after consuming acidic items to neutralise acids and protect against enamel erosion, helping to alleviate sensitivity.

Specific Treatments Offered by Dental Hygienists

Women happy at her dental appointment

Fluoride Treatments

One of the most effective treatments for sensitive teeth that dental hygienists offer is professional fluoride applications. These treatments help rebuild weakened enamel and prevent the dentin from being exposed. Fluoride varnishes are applied directly to the teeth, creating a protective layer that diminishes the pain associated with tooth sensitivity.

Scaling and Root Planning

Dental hygienists perform scaling and root planning for patients whose gum disease has compounded sensitivity. This deep-cleaning process removes plaque and tartar below the gum line, smoothing the root surfaces where gum recession may expose sensitive areas. This helps reduce sensitivity and improves overall gum health, preventing further recession and subsequent sensitivity.


Dental hygienists often apply sealants to help treat sensitive teeth—these act as a barrier, covering the exposed dentin or root surfaces that cause sensitivity. Sealants are particularly effective in preventing decay on the back teeth and can also help block the transmission of hot, cold, and sweet triggers that provoke sensitivity and pain.

Expert Care for Sensitive Teeth: Why Choose Direct Dental Wandsworth

Man with a healthy smile

At Direct Dental Wandsworth, we understand how tooth sensitivity can disrupt your life. Our dedicated dental hygienists have the knowledge and tools to treat sensitive teeth effectively. We aim to enhance your long-term health and prevent future sensitivities by focusing on immediate relief and preventive care.

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