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Category Archives: Tooth Whitening Blog

7 Ways to manage Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common problems dental patients have. Tooth sensitivity can affect just one tooth or all teeth. Most people experience sensitivity when drinking hot, cold, sweet or sour, and that pain quickly spreads deep into nerve endings of your teeth.


Causes of Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity arises when gums recede and expose the underlying dentin. Dentin is the soft layer of tooth located beneath tooth enamel. There are thousands of tiny tubes within the dentin leading to the tooth’s pulp and nerve center. These tubes allow sensations of hot and cold to reach the nerve, causing sudden pain. Sensitive teeth can be caused by a multitude of things including wear and tear due to brushing too hard, tooth decay, gingivitis leading to gum recession, chipped or broken teeth, teeth grinding, tooth whitening products, age, plaque buildup, and eating acidic foods. The big take away is that all of these factors listed expose dentin, which ultimately can cause tooth sensitivity.


Toothpaste Choice

Making the correct choice in toothpaste is paramount. Avoid any smokers/whitening toothpastes. These can often make the situation worse.  Toothpastes containing Potassium Nitrate and Flouride is the secret ingredient which helps reduce or eliminate sensitivity in the majority of patients. Enlighten tooth serum and Sensodyne repair and protect tend to be the products of choice in combatting this problem.

.Tooth Serum v2 1000repair-and-protect-390x145

If your teeth persist to be severely sensitive after several days your dentist can help solve the problem. Bonding can be applied to cover exposed root surfaces as well as varnishes. These methods will protect the dentin and prevent any irritants from causing any pain.


  1. Practice good oral hygiene, this can help prevent conditions such as gum disease, which can cause receding gums
  2. Use a toothpaste specially formulated – toothpastes containing potassium nitrate such as Sensodyne Repair and Protect and Enlighten tooth serum.
  3. Don’t brush too hard, electric toothbrushes have pressure indicators
  4. Use a soft toothbrush -preferably one designed especially for sensitive teeth
  5. Avoid acidic foods – that can wear away tooth enamel, such as wine, vinegar, soft drinks
  6. Avoid grinding your teeth – or clenching during the day. Ask you dentist about a mouthguard for night time use.
  7. See you dentist for regular check-ups – dental care recommendations and advice for your sensitive teeth

Saturday Hygienist St Albans Hertfordshire

From January 2016, High Oaks Dental St Albans are pleased to announce to all patients that our hygienist, Lucy Murray will be opening her ‘fresh breath hygiene’ clinic on Saturdays.

Now you can visit our hygienist on a Saturday, at a more convenient time and get your teeth stain free, and get your gums healthy.

Regular hygiene visits can prevent gingivitis and gum disease, the leading cause of tooth loss.

For more information about how you can benefit from a hygiene visit please click here

So make your New Years Resolution to visit our hygienist.

A healthy smile is a happy smile.

How do teeth discolour? part 1

High Oaks Dental Practice, St Albans, provide a full range of teeth whitening products, to help create a brighter, whiter smile. This blog will help identify how teeth become stained. Our following blogs will deal with how to rectify these discolourations and restore the teeth and your smile.

How do teeth discolour?

Discoloured teeth can occur in a variety of ways.

There are 3 main modes:

  1. Intrinsic factors
  2. Extrinsic factors
  3. Age – Related factors


Intrinsic Factors

Teeth can either be discoloured from when they develop, they erupt or in the early stages after eruption.

Fluorosis – this is a condition where developing teeth are exposed to excess fluoride. If this excess fluoride is mild then white spots/marks can appear on the teeth when they erupt. If the amount of fluoride is greater then this can turn into brown spots on the teeth and give a ‘mottled’ appearance.


Tetracycline staining – this condition is where the developing teeth have been subjected to tetracycline, an antibiotic, which causes a brown ‘band’ to be present on the teeth. This is now very rarely seen and treated minimally invasively.

tetracycline staining

Trauma – direct or indirect trauma to a tooth can cause the pulp in the tooth to die. The death of a tooth can result in a fast colour change, changing a tooth from white to dark yellow/brown to black. If someone notices the colour of a tooth changing as a result of a trauma then they are advised to see one of our dentists as soon as possible. The earlier we treat this tooth the better the cosmetic result will be.

Extrinsic Staining

This is the usual staining we encounter at the practice. This is where the enamel has picked up staining from tea, coffee, smoking cigarettes, red wine, curries and long-term usage of Corsodyl mouthwash.

Being a superficial stain, it is usually cleaned by our hygienist over a 30 min appointment which also clears any debris between the teeth called calculus, giving a ‘fresh-breath’ feeling.

Aged Related Staining 

This is unavoidable and occurs over decades of using your teeth and modern diets. Acids in fizzy drinks erode the enamel, causing it to thin and become more transparent. This makes the underneath dentin more noticeable.

Dentin matures over age and becomes more yellow. As a result of the thinning enamel, the yellower dentine becomes more prominent.


Our next blog will discuss the different products and options we have to rectify these issues and how successful they are.


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