Frequently Asked Questions
Do your teeth twinge when you eat or drink certain foods? Do you
suffer from painful teeth due to tooth sensitivity? Is your
sensitivity a daily problem or perhaps just an occasional
annoyance? Chances are you have "dentine hypersensitivity", another
name for sensitive teeth.
Sensitivity is a common dental problem. It's not a
disease, but rather a condition that develops over time due to
common factors such as receding gums and tooth grinding. Most
sufferers are between 20 and 50 years old.
Tooth Sensitivity FAQs
What is tooth sensitivity? [+]
Tooth sensitivity, often described by consumers as a "tooth
twinge", "tooth ache" or "sore teeth" most frequently occurs when
eating or drinking hot or cold food and drinks. You may also feel
discomfort when consuming sweet or sour food and drinks, or when
you brush your teeth and rinse with cold water. Many adults have
only occasional tooth sensitivity. Some adults experience chronic
pain. Tooth sensitivity may be an indication of an underlying
dental problem. Please consult your dentist.
See "About Sensitive Teeth."
What causes sensitive teeth? [+]
Underneath the tooth's protective enamel coating is a highly
porous layer called "dentine". Thousands of microscopic tubules run
through the dentine. Once dentine is exposed, nerves within
the dentine tubules can become susceptible to triggers such as cold
food or drinks and respond with a short sharp pain.
Causes Sensitive Teeth?"
How can I prevent sensitive teeth? [+]
Brushing with a sensitivity toothpaste such as Sensodyne is one
way to protect against sensitivity. Another is to avoid brushing
too hard and to use a soft-bristled toothbrush specially designed
for sensitive teeth. Taking good care of your teeth and seeing your
dentist regularly can also help protect against conditions that
contribute to sensitivity, such as gum disease, tooth decay and gum
See "Preventing Sensitivity."
What triggers sensitive teeth? [+]
Sensitive teeth can be caused by gum recession, loss of enamel
or damage to teeth and gums. Temporary sensitivity can be caused by
cosmetic professional or at-home whitening treatments. Sensitive
teeth can hurt as a reaction to:
- Cold foods or beverages
- Hot foods or beverages
- Sweet or sour (acidic) foods
- Plaque and bacteria
- Chemical stimulus
- Dry mouth
See "Sensitivity Triggers."
Is tooth sensitivity a common dental problem? [+]
Yes. Sensitive teeth affect many people and can start at any
time. Sensitive teeth may affect younger people as a result of
changes in modern lifestyles and eating habits. As we consume
more acidic food and drinks and snack more often during the day, we
are more at risk of developing sensitive teeth.
Can tooth whitening cause sensitivity? [+]
Tooth whitening treatments are becoming increasingly popular.
Typically, the ingredients in the products used for whitening are
hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These are usually
administered through a specially made tray (similar to a
gum-shield). As the whitening agent is broken down, oxygen gets
into the enamel on the teeth and the tooth colour is made lighter.
Tooth sensitivity is widely recognized as being associated with
tooth bleaching procedures. There is no exact science to predicting
if you will experience sensitivity but reports suggest that up to
80% of patients using bleaching will experience some sensitivity.
Be sure to discuss this with your dentist prior to any
See "Whitening Treatments
Acid Wear FAQs
What causes Acid Wear? [+]
Many of the foods and drinks that we associate with a modern
diet, including wine, soft drinks, many fruits, fruit tea and
balsamic vinegar contain acid. The acid comes into contact with
teeth, at which point the tooth's hard enamel surface softens.
Then, when we brush our teeth, the enamel can be worn away more
easily and become thinner over time. This wearing of enamel, caused
by acid in our diet, is called "Acid Wear" or "Acid Erosion".
Causes Acid Wear."
Can brushing too hard cause Acid Wear? [+]
Brushing too hard can speed up Acid Wear caused by the acidic
food and drink in your everyday diet. Tooth enamel is particularly
vulnerable to brushing in the minutes right after these foods and
drinks have been consumed. After consuming acidic food or drink,
some dental experts recommend swilling with water and waiting at
least an hour before brushing your teeth.
Is Acid Wear permanent? [+]
The effects of Acid Wear can affect all ages and while initial
enamel softening is reversible, once enamel is lost, it is lost
forever. That's why protection is the best policy.
Do I have to give up the foods and drinks that cause Acid Wear? [+]
You don't have to change your diet or lifestyle completely, but
you can make small changes to minimize Acid Wear. For instance, use
a straw when drinking soft drinks or fruit juices. Also, brush with
an enamel care toothpaste such as Pronamel that is
dentist-recommended and is specially formulated to help re-harden
acid softened enamel and protect teeth from Acid Wear. That
way, you can carry on eating and drinking the foods and beverages
Can Acid Wear cause sensitive teeth? [+]
Yes. As dietary acid wears away tooth enamel, there is a greater
likelihood that the underlying dentine layer will become exposed.
Once dentine becomes exposed, the nerve in the centre of the tooth
becomes susceptible to stimuli, resulting in a short sharp pain
caused by certain triggers, such as hot or cold foods and
How can I protect my teeth against Acid Wear? [+]
To help protect your teeth against the effects of dietary acids,
there are several steps you can take:
- Avoid brushing teeth immediately after consuming acidic food or
drinks, as this is when the enamel is at its softest. It is best to
brush teeth before meals or wait for at least one hour after
- Drink acidic drinks quickly - don't swish them around or hold
them for prolonged periods within your mouth. Or, use a straw
placed towards the back of the mouth.
- Brush teeth gently, but thoroughly, with a medium soft
- Have regular dental check-ups and talk to a dental professional
about any concerns.
- Brush twice a day, every day, with an enamel care toothpaste
like Pronamel to re-harden acid softened tooth enamel and protect
it against future acid attack.
Can children get Acid Wear? [+]
Yes. In fact, Acid Wear is a growing concern with a majority of
dental professionals reporting that they see children with signs of
Acid Wear on a weekly basis. For today's children, the modern diet
of fruit drinks, soft drinks, fruits and vegetables is the primary
cause of Acid Wear. For children under the age of 12, Pronamel for
Children is specially designed to help protect against Acid
Common is Acid Wear?"
Sensodyne Product FAQs
How does Sensodyne work? [+]
Sensodyne's potassium formulations work at the source of the
pain by blocking pain signals from the nerve. In other words,
Sensodyne depolarises the nerve. Dentists recommend using Sensodyne twice a day just as you would
use your normal toothpaste.
Sensodyne toothpastes work with active ingredients such as
NovaMin® technology or strontium acetate to relieve the pain of
sensitive teeth. Sensodyne Repair & Protect advanced,
patented NovaMin® technology, which is scientifically proven to
repair sensitive teeth by forming a tooth-like layer over exposed
dentine to help continually repair and protect sensitive areas. It
actually seeks out and repairs vulnerable areas that cause the
occasional twinges of sensitivity. Sensodyne Rapid Relief
contains strontium acetate, which is an element similar to calcium.
The strontium in Sensodyne Rapid Relief replaces some of the
calcium lost from the dentine and blocks the exposed tubules within
the dentinal tissue. This prevents the flow of the fluid within the
tubules that would otherwise cause tooth pain.
Why should I use Sensodyne dental floss/dental tape? [+]
Coated with a smooth wax treatment that dissolves to
release fluoride, Sensodyne dental floss is a gentle, monofilament
fibre that is designed to move easily between teeth, even in
tight spaces. Suitable for people with sensitive teeth, it is an
important part of your overall oral care plan to help protect
Is Sensodyne safe to use during tooth-whitening treatments? [+]
Yes. Research has shown that using Sensodyne two weeks before
and during the whitening process can significantly:
- Reduce the chances that tooth sensitivity will develop.
- Increase "sensitivity free" days.
- Improve overall satisfaction with the whitening process.
How do I use Sensodyne iso-active? [+]
iso-active® is delivered in a novel canister format, and its
gel-to-foam action is a result of the inclusion of isopentane.
Isopentane responds to increases in temperature caused by the
warmth of the mouth. The active gel is stored in a special internal
bag inside the can, known as "bag on valve" technology. When the
can's nozzle is pressed, the pressure forces the gel out of the
can. In the warmth of the mouth during brushing, the gel transforms
into an active micro-fine foam, generating twice the foam volume as
ordinary toothpaste and penetrating hard-to-reach places.
How does iso-active work? [+]
Isopentane responds to increases in temperature caused by the
warmth of the mouth. This relatively small increase in temperature,
combined with brushing, stimulates the enhanced foaming action of
the product. Generating twice the foam volume as ordinary
toothpaste, the activated formulation disperses active ingredients
around the mouth which help to penetrate critical, hard to reach
areas and rinse clean away.
Is isopentane safe to use in a toothpaste? [+]
Isopentane is a common ingredient used safely in a range of
health and beauty products, including body wash and shaving gels
produced by some of the world's leading global brands. Scientific
evidence and experience of use of isopentane in a range of personal
care products around the globe all support the safety and
effectiveness of isopentane when used as indicated.
Pronamel Product FAQs
How does Pronamel protect against the effects of Acid Wear? [+]
is part of the Sensodyne range of enamel care toothpastes. It has
been specifically formulated to help protect teeth from the effects
of Acid Wear. It works in a number of ways:
- It has an optimised fluoride formulation to help re-harden acid
softened enamel and build protection against future acid
- It has low abrasivity to help limit damage to acid softened
- It is SLS-free and has a neutral pH.
- It contains potassium nitrate to help prevent dentine