Oral Care

Do you frequently refrain from eating your favorite ice cream out of concern for a severe, sudden toothache? Likewise, you may have that disturbing sensation when simply breathing in cold air. The pain may be sudden, severe, and spread deep into the nerve endings of the tooth.  Then, it is likely that you might be suffering from tooth sensitivity.

When exposed to particular stimuli, such as hot or cold temperatures, some people experience tooth pain or discomfort. We call this condition Dentin Hypersensitivity or tooth sensitivity. When the dentin, the tooth’s deepest layer, is exposed, teeth become sensitive. Many factors can lead to the development of sensitive teeth. Let’s take a look at the top five reasons for teeth sensitivity.

1.Check if gum recession triggers teeth sensitivity

Do you know that your gums tend to erode? Sometimes gums get pushed back and we call it gum recession. It happens when the gum tissue around the teeth recedes and exposes the soft dentin inside the tooth. Dentin is full of tiny tubules that lead directly to the center of the tooth. Hence, when you eat or drink something hot, cold, sweet, or sour, it can trigger the nerve and cause sensitivity. Several causes, including vigorous brushing, smoking, dental plaque, chewing tobacco, misaligned teeth, and even heredity, lead to its onset. Getting treatment early can halt the progression of gum recession and save your teeth. Proper treatment is needed for gum recession.

Your dentist may explore options like:

  • Administering fluoride varnish or other desensitizing substances to lessen the pain.
  • Prescribing a desensitizing toothpaste.
  • Resorting to more surgical and nonsurgical treatments that are available to treat gum recession

2.You may be brushing hard and causing teeth sensitivity

To maintain good oral health, we all brush our teeth. However, did you know that using a hard bristled brush and brushing vigorously would harm the health of your teeth? Brushing too hard with the wrong brush will deplete the tooth’s enamel, causing sensitivity. The enamel shields the dentin, the tooth’s delicate inner layer. Dentin has tiny tubules leading to the tooth’s nerve. And it gets exposed as the enamel tears away. Therefore, when you consume hot, cold, sweet, or acidic food they get into contact with these tubules and it causes sensitivity and pain. Furthermore, rigorous brushing can lead to gum recession and as a result, the roots get exposed, inviting sensitivity.

You can keep tooth sensitivity caused by brushing at bay by:

  • Incorporating proper techniques and avoiding aggressive brushing.
  • Using a toothbrush with gentle bristles.
  • Brushing your teeth in a circular motion.
  • Not exerting too much pressure. Because excessive pressure on teeth depletes enamel. As a result, it troubles your gum.

3.Grinding teeth invites sensitivity

Occasionally grinding teeth may not harm your health. But, you might not even be conscious of your frequent nighttime teeth grinding. If you grind your teeth frequently when you are awake or asleep, you may suffer from bruxism.   It involves the habit of teeth grinding and clenching. When you grind your teeth, it put excessive pressure and your enamel begins to erode. It causes various dental issues including tooth sensitivity. Several reasons like alcohol consumption, use of recreational drugs, excessive caffeine, smoking, stress, anxiety, some anti-anxiety drugs, etc can cause bruxism. Leaving teeth grinding untreated can result in severe teeth sensitivity and other dental issues.

Read on to prevent grinding teeth.

  • Bid adieu to drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes as they are likely to cause teeth grinding.
  • Reduce stress because it has the likelihood of causing teeth grinding.
  • See a dentist if you get headaches or jaw soreness in the morning.
  • Also, wear your dentist-prescribed night guard while you sleep.

4.Acidic food and teeth sensitivity.

We all complain frequently about acidity and we stay away from food that upsets our stomachs. Yet, have you ever considered how acidic food affects our teeth? Acidic food is one of the main culprits that trigger tooth sensitivity. Consuming highly acidic foods erodes enamel and causes tooth sensitivity. Consequently, your teeth get painfully sensitive while having foods and beverages like sports drinks, orange juice, tomatoes, citrus fruits, yogurt, pickles sodas, etc.

Here are some suggestions to prevent acidity-related tooth sensitivity.

  • Reduce the consumption of acidic foods.
  • Neutralize the acid by rinsing your mouth with water after consuming acidic food.
  • Always use a straw while drinking fruit juice to prevent contact between the juice and your teeth.
  • After consuming acidic foods and beverages, brush your teeth only 30 minutes afterward.

5.Plaque build-up is a recipe for teeth sensitivity.

Dental plaque is a bacterial-filled sticky coating that develops on teeth. These bacteria secrete acid when they come into contact with sweet and starchy food. These acids can corrode your teeth’s enamel and reveal the dentin layer, harming your teeth.  If plaque is not routinely eliminated by brushing and flossing, it becomes harder and accumulates. Eventually, it will be difficult to remove. Consequently, plaque causes teeth sensitivity.

Preventive tips for plaque build-up:

  • Daily flossing of your teeth can avoid plaque accumulation.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day. It removes plaque and prevents accumulation.
  • Start using fluoride toothpaste because it aids in strengthening your teeth.
  • Limit acidic and sugary food intake. These foods enhance the growth of bacteria in the mouth and can lead to the formation of plaque.
  • Chew sugar-free gum after meals to promote the secretion of saliva to neutralize acid formation. It will prevent plaque formation.
  • Regular dental check-ups and cleaning.


While sensitive teeth might have a variety of causes, the majority of them are easily treatable by changing your oral hygiene routine. However, it is essential to see a dentist before dental sensitivity develops into more complicated issues like cavities or gum diseases. Thus, your teeth’s sensitivity may have been an early symptom of oral health problems. The only person who can identify it and treat it is a dentist. Depending on the severity of the sensitivity, your dentist can create a treatment plan. Proper treatment reduces or eliminates teeth sensitivity. Keep in mind that oral health is very important for overall wellness.

Leave a Reply