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Sensitive tooth necks

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 378 views

The sensitive tooth necks often protest painfully when they come into contact with icy air, steaming coffee or chocolate cake. Here you can find out how it can be that the tooth necks – which are normally covered by gums – are exposed and what can be done against the increased sensitivity to pain!

Increased sensitivity

Some teeth react to cold, hot, sweet or sour things with a painful pulling. The reason may be caries or increased sensitivity of the teeth.

Teeth sometimes react overly sensitively to leaking fillings or crowns and exposed tooth necks. If the neck of the tooth is no longer covered by the gums or if the protective layer of enamel is not sufficient, stimuli can penetrate unhindered to the nerves.

Bared necks

Normally, the tooth is perfectly protected by the resistant enamel that extends to the gum line. However, when the gums recede, it exposes the sensitive neck of the tooth. At this point, the dentin is traversed by thousands of tiny canals that reach from the surface to the pulp. Chemical and thermal stimuli reach the nerve via the sensitive dentine tubules and trigger hypersensitivity or pain.


The main cause of exposed tooth necks is a disease of the periodontium (periodontitis). In the course of this chronic inflammation, the gums recede further and further.

Incorrect brushing technique or too much contact pressure with the toothbrush can also have a negative effect: If you scrub too hard back and forth, you can injure the gums so much that they pull back from the tooth. This not only looks ugly – the tooth necks then increasingly lack their protective layer.

Dysfunctions such as nocturnal grinding and clenching ( bruxism ) also appear to be involved in exposure of the tooth necks.

Paint and glue

The simplest protection against sensitive tooth necks is of course not to let them develop in the first place. The risk can be significantly reduced with the right brushing technique and timely treatment of periodontitis and bruxism.

If the tooth necks are already exposed and cause pain, the dentist can seal the tooth neck with a strengthening fluoride varnish or apply a thin-flowing plastic that closes the dentin tubules. Both procedures relieve hypersensitivity.

There are special toothpastes for domestic dental care , the ingredients of which strengthen the tooth substance. Ask your dentist about this. As a rule, the necks of the teeth become less sensitive over time – the bite into the gingerbread heart is then no longer quite as unpleasant.

In some people, however, the previous damage is so great that only tooth neck fillings or protective tooth crowns bring lasting relief. Periodontal surgical methods, in which the gums are placed back over the tooth neck, are also suitable for some patients.

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