Have you ever experienced a sharp, aching pain in your tooth or gums as soon as you starting chewing food? Or have you passed on cold or hot beverages on because you knew they would hurt your teeth once you consumed them? If any of this seems familiar, there’s a strong chance that you are suffering either from “teeth sensitivity ” or having Gum problems.

The Oral Health Tracker, published by the Australian Dental Association, states that only 50% of people nationwide brush their teeth twice daily- which is leading to a rise in dental decay problems. Furthermore, 90% of Aussies have some form of dental decay to deal with.

A regular brushing routine is vital for good oral hygiene, but when the brushing causes sensations of pain, soreness or bleeding from the gums, it’s time to see the dentist immediately.

It’s important to mention that sometimes the pain experienced can be emanating from a particular tooth or the adjoining teeth as well. This can feel like a sharp pulsating pain accompanied with a swelling either inside the mouth or on the side of the cheek, externally. Many times, patients complain of related pain felt in their neck, jaw or even in ears. Certain temperatures like hot or cold makes the pain worse. So it’s crucial to determine whether the pain is originating in one tooth, or multiple teeth, or is the sensitivity related with the gums.

Common Causes of Painful Brushing

Let’s look at some of the common causes of irritation and discomfort experienced while brushing.

Brushing vigorously

Many times people think that brushing teeth vigorously will make their teeth more clean and white, whereas in reality, brushing in that manner can wear down the enamel (the hard glossy substance that covers the crown of a tooth), causing the dentin to be exposed, or can cause further teeth damage.


Gingivitis is a gum disease which causes redness or puffiness in the gums and the patients complains of soreness or even bleeding from gums while brushing. If left uncared for, this condition can result in a more serious condition called the periodontal disease.

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Immediate pain experienced in a single tooth can be a Cavity signal. Cavities may cause small holes on the tooth surface which can continually cause pain if left untreated. So always wise to cater cavities first before they turn into more complex dental caries.

Cracked teeth

If teeth are cracked or split open, they can be filled with bacteria building up from plaque and is likely to cause inflammation of the tooth pulp. Sometimes that may lead to infections also.

Is a manual toothbrush better to use, or an electric toothbrush?

While manual brushing is adviseable, if you miss or overlook areas of plaque while brushing, then an electric toothbrush may be more suitable option. The technique and dexterity of brushing is very important and you should seek advice from a dental hygienist on proper brushing routine.

How to ideally brush your teeth?

A large percentage of people in Australia brush twice a day. You should aim the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle towards the gum line, then apply a small amount of toothpaste. Then start brushing in a gentle circular motion. This process should be repeated across all teeth. By combining brushing with regular flossing, you can enjoy much better oral hygiene.

Faulty diet and fizzy drinks

Consuming too much of acidic foods or fizzy drinks can cause irritation in the mouth or eventually erode the tooth enamel.

Using the wrong brush

Brushes with hard bristles do not work for those who have sensitive gums or teeth as they can scrape the gum line causing more irritation. So its best to use a soft bristle toothbrush if you are already having dental problems. Also its recommended to change your toothbrush after every three months.

Formation of pus pockets

Sometimes pus pockets or “tooth abscess” are formed which are caused by certain bacterial infections.They can occur in various parts of the tooth. There are normally two types of abscesses: Periodontal abscess, which occurs just next to a tooth near the gum tissue. Secondly the Periapical abscess, which are caused by some sort of an injury and located at the tooth root.

TMJ Disorders

Short for “Temporomandibular joint disorder”, this causes pain in the jaw and surrounding muscles, often leading to ear pain too. TMJ pain can diverge to the teeth region too. This can result from ageing as well, or is common among people who grind or clench their teeth during sleep.

Remedies for sensitive teeth pain relief

The good news is that by adopting a number of measures, you can finally get rid of the problem. Let’s take a look at few of the remedies here:

Regular brushing and flossing

One of the biggest benefits of regular brushing is that it prevents plaque from building up and cleanses the mouth of any food deposits after meals. Flossing after meals ensures deep cleaning between teeth linings and other deep spots where a brush doesn’t do much of the cleaning.

Meet the dentist

It is recommended to get your teeth checked twice a year. Many times the dentist views the then oral situation and accordingly may prescribe remedies either for the sensitive gums or for the problem tooth.

Alternatively, the dentist also decides for a other wide range of other treatments whether an implant is needed or the patient needs fluoride varnishes, or plastic resins on the teeth.

Fill the cavities

Try getting all the cavities taken care of at once and get them filled before they cause more complex problems. Filling the cavities provide instant relief.

Eat a healthy diet

Eat A balanced diet, which includes products that have plenty of vitamin C and calcium, as they both minimize the likelihood of having gum issues.

Limit sugary and acidic foods

By cutting down the fizzy drinks and other acidic foods, you are sure to cut the risk of tooth decay and better dental health.

Antibiotics & mouth rinses

Often patients are prescribed antibiotics to treat bacterial infections . Furthermore mouthwash rinses are recommended to kill bacteria in the oral cavity promoting a healthy oral hygiene. However, it’s best to consult a dentist and get proper advice on this.

Mouth guards for TMJ disorders

Mouth guards are given to the patients who suffer from chronic jaw pain resulting from TMJ disorders. By wearing the mouth guard, you reduce the risk for constantly having the need to grind your teeth which causes pain and discomfort in the jaws and aligned muscles.

Use special toothpastes

In the case of sensitive teeth, dentists give you high-fluoride or other special pastes which work specifically to combat teeth sensitivity. High- fluoride gels are also used to reduce sensitivity in the tooth region and provide relief.

Like with any concerning issue, awareness is a prerequisite to address it fully from multiple angles; similarly, tooth and gum problems can be avoided first-handed if there is a basic awareness about it. Furthermore if problems do occur, appropriate treatments and remedies need to be administered immediately so that the problem is at once catered to without more complexities. Never shy away from your dental problems and you are guaranteed a big, tension free smile.

A: Use HealthEngine to find and book your next Dentist appointment. Click on the following locations to find a Dentist clinic in your state or territory.

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If in doubt, HealthEngine recommends consulting with a registered health practitioner.