What’s Causing Your Sensitive Teeth?



Nothing is worse than wincing at that morning sip of coffee or having to turn down ice cream due to sensitive teeth. Teeth sensitivity refers to that jolt of sharp pain you feel when a certain tooth (or teeth) hits something cold or hot. In can also happen when eating or drinking something acidic or sweet. Unfortunately, everyone is at risk for sensitive teeth. Ignoring this discomfort, however, should never be an option.

While not all causes of sensitive teeth demand immediate attention, any type of dental pain can be a warning sign that your oral health is compromised. A dentist needs to properly evaluate your teeth sensitivity and determine if a treatment plan needs to be put in place. Treating sensitive teeth involves first understanding exactly what triggers this type of pain.

Causes of Teeth Sensitivity

Teeth signal pain when their nerves are exposed. In a healthy tooth, the outer enamel protects the tooth nerves from the outside environment. Unfortunately, there are many factors that can cause enamel to wear thin, erode or break. When the enamel is compromised, the inner dentin layer is exposed. Dentin is softer than enamel and contains thousands of microscopic tubules that connect to the inner pulp of the tooth where the nerves reside. The roots of a tooth naturally have less enamel but they are protected by the gums – unless the gums recede.

The following are reasons that the inner tooth nerves get exposed, making teeth sensitivity possible: 

  • Brushing too hard
  • Gingivitis or gum disease
  • Gum recession
  • Untreated cavity
  • Tooth fracture or crack
  • Excessive consumption of acidic foods/drinks
  • Teeth grinding habit

Treating Your Sensitive Teeth

The good news is that there is almost always a way to treat your teeth sensitivity so that you can get back to enjoying the foods you love without fear of pain. Based on the determined cause of your sensitive teeth, a dentist may recommend a softer toothbrush, less sodas or a nightguard for teeth grinding. It may also be necessary for more invasive treatment, such as a root canal, periodontal disease treatment, gum grafting or dental filling. 

Do you suffer from sensitive teeth? Before you assume it is nothing to worry about, please let our dental team know. There may be an easy way to relieve your discomfort and restore the health of your teeth in the process. A healthy smile should not be painful! Call West Hill Family Dental today.

Posted on behalf of West Hill Family Dental