What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

July 31, 2019 8:00 am | Published by
Middle-aged man with sensitive teeth cringes in pain and touches his cheek

If you often feel an uncomfortable, sharp pain when your teeth are exposed to hot or cold temperatures, you have tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity is a common issue, but many people aren’t aware of the cause of their sensitivity or how to address it. Read on to learn about common causes of sensitive teeth!

Symptoms of Tooth Sensitivity

Sensitivity is when you feel pain or discomfort when your teeth are exposed to hot or cold temperatures, but not necessarily otherwise. However, tooth sensitivity could indicate issues that could later lead to tooth decay, so it’s best not to ignore it.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Common causes of tooth sensitivity include:

  • Gum Disease – Gums become inflamed when bacteria is trapped under your gumline and plaque accumulates along your teeth. As irritated and infected gums pull away from your teeth, your sensitive roots become exposed and vulnerable to sensitivity, pain, and decay.
  • Cracked Teeth or Thin Enamel – Enamel that is cracked or thin due to trauma or chronic teeth grinding puts your inner tooth at risk for irritation and infection, which can both cause sensitivity.
  • Alcohol & Tobacco – If you use an alcohol-based mouthwash, consume alcoholic beverages regularly, or smoke, you increase your risk of damaging your enamel and developing tooth sensitivity.
  • Brushing Too Hard – Brushing your teeth too hard will erode your enamel and cause your gums to recede, exposing your sensitive tooth roots. Be sure to brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush using small, gentle circles to avoid damaging your teeth and gums.
  • Decay – Decayed teeth have enamel that is either weakened or permanently damaged, which increases your risk of sensitivity.

Combatting Tooth Sensitivity

If you experience sensitive teeth, visit us to determine its root cause. Depending on the cause of your sensitivity, we may recommend a treatment to address any underlying issues (like gum disease, a crack, or decay) or that you use a special anti-sensitivity toothpaste designed for those with sensitivity. We can also recommend changes to your dietary and lifestyle habits to help prevent further damage to your teeth, such as quitting smoking, improving your brushing technique, or wearing a nightguard.

Reach Out to Our Expert Team!

Do you want the healthy and pain-free smile of your dreams? Visit us at Optima Dental Spa and we’ll help develop a treatment plan that’s perfect for your unique dental needs. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment.


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