Why Do I Have Sensitive Teeth and How to Treat Them?

Why Do I Have Sensitive Teeth and How to Treat Them?

February 1, 2023

Do you experience pain or discomfort when consuming cold or hot food and beverages? Well, you are not the first one to experience it. Although these symptoms are quite common in patients with decaying teeth, it’s not always a sign of a cavity. Tooth sensitivity, also called dentin hypersensitivity, is a dental problem that causes patients to experience pain and discomfort when eating. This article will shed light on teeth sensitivity, what causes it, and how to treat it.

Tooth Sensitivity

Teeth sensitivity is a response to stimuli often caused by hot or cold temperatures. Patients who experience tooth sensitivity may find it difficult to eat or drink due to the pain and discomfort felt when their teeth come in contact with cold and hot temperatures. Dentine hypersensitivity can be temporary or chronic and can affect one or several teeth. Various factors can also cause it, but before we proceed, let’s list some of the common triggers for pain and discomfort in patients suffering from tooth sensitivity:

  • Sweet foods and beverages
  • Hot and cold foods and drinks
  • Food items rich in acid
  • Alcohol-based mouth rinses

The symptoms of tooth sensitivity may range from mild to severe and sometimes come and go over time.

Causes of Teeth Sensitivity

Teeth sensitivity is common and can be caused by various factors. Below are some of the most common causes of teeth sensitivity:

Brushing Too Hard: Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush does not necessarily mean your teeth will be cleaner.On the contrary, that makes things worse over time. For example, brushing too hard can wear down the enamel in your teeth, leaving your teeth’s dentin exposed and vulnerable to damages caused by cavities. It can also result in bleeding gums and, with time, cause your gums to recede (pull away from your teeth).Visit our Vancouver dental clinic for dental care tips instead of using techniques that have yet to be proven to work efficiently.

Gum Disease: Gum disease causes inflammation and soreness in the gums. This can result in tooth sensitivity due to the loss of supporting ligaments that expose the roots connected to the nerves of the tooth. You should therefore see a dentist in Vancouver, BC soon as your gums start to recede to prevent teeth sensitivity from occurring in the future.

Receding Gums: Although gum disease can affect anyone, some people are just more prone to it due to their genetic makeup. If not detected and treated early, your gums may also recede due to periodontal disease. Receding gums leave the inner parts of the tooth, such as the tooth root, exposed and thus susceptible to tooth sensitivity and other dental problems.

Damaged Teeth: Teeth with cracks and chips are more likely to suffer from tooth sensitivity. This is because damaged teeth have weak tooth structures and are more susceptible to cavities caused by bacteria and plaque.

Grinding Your Teeth: Some people tend to grind their teeth when stressed or angry, while others do the same due to bruxism. This may not seem like an issue at first, but with time, regularly clenching your teeth will cause the tooth enamel to wear and leave the underlying dentin exposed and susceptible to teeth sensitivity.

Mouthwash: Not all mouthwash products are good for you, especially if you have underlying dental problems. For example, several mouthwash products contain acids that can worsen teeth sensitivity among patients with exposed dentin.

Treatment for Teeth Sensitivity

Treatment for tooth sensitivity depends on what caused it. Below are examples of how teeth sensitivity is treated:

Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene

Good dental hygiene will save you from many dental problems, including tooth sensitivity. So ensure you follow our dental care tips and use recommended teeth cleaning products.

Changing to a Soft Bristled Toothbrush

As we mentioned earlier, using a hard-bristled toothbrush daily can damage your teeth and gums. To protect your tooth from tooth sensitivity caused by abrasions to the tooth surface and gums, only use soft-bristled toothbrushes to keep your mouth clean.

Switching to Fluoridated Dental Products

Fluoridated dental products can help strengthen teeth and provide more protection against cavities. However, excessive use of fluoridated products such as mouth rinse can be bad for your teeth. So talk to your dentist for guidance on which fluoridated products to use and how frequently you should use them.

Stop Grinding Your Teeth

Grinding your teeth too often is bad for your teeth. If you find it impossible to stop, talk to your dentist about it. They can give you a mouth guard to protect your teeth from wear and tear caused by frequent grinding.


Several factors can cause prolonged teeth sensitivity. If not treated early, the pain and discomfort experienced will increase and make it challenging to enjoy your food and drink. It can also be a sign of dental problems such as cavities and gum disease. See a dentist from Enhance Dental Centre immediately if you start experiencing toothaches to get treated for all kinds of dental problems.


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