Why Do My Teeth Feel Sensitive?

Tuesday - 07.27.2021

Do your teeth hurt when you bite into a slice of hot pizza or drink a cold beverage? If so, you may have sensitive teeth. Teeth sensitivity can develop for many reasons, including cavities, gum disease, worn tooth enamel, old fillings, and/or exposed tooth roots. Depending on the cause, your dentist can recommend treatment to help ease any discomfort you are experiencing due to sensitive teeth.

Are sensitive teeth painful?

Yes. Daily activities like tooth brushing, eating, and drinking can create discomfort or pain. 

You may feel discomfort or pain in response to one or more of these triggers: 

  • Acidic foods and beverages (carbonated drinks, sweet tea, fruit juices, beer, wine, etc.)
  • Brushing or flossing your teeth
  • Cold air
  • Cold foods and beverages – including cold water
  • Hot foods and beverages
  • Sweet foods
  • Using an alcohol-based mouth rinse 

Is there a remedy for sensitive teeth? 

Yes. Schedule an appointment with your dentist. They can determine the cause of sensitivity and recommend a treatment. The dentist may recommend one or more of the following treatments: 

Desensitizing toothpaste 
Desensitizing toothpaste includes ingredients that help to block uncomfortable nerve sensations. Buy a desensitizing toothpaste that lists the ADA Seal of Acceptance. 

Fluoride treatment 
Your dentist will apply a fluoride gel to sensitive areas of your teeth. This will help to reduce pain and strengthen tooth enamel. The dentist may also recommend an at-home fluoride treatment.   

Inlay, crown, or tooth bonding
If you have tooth decay, an inlay, crown, or tooth bonding can alleviate tooth sensitivity.  

Surgical gum graft 
If a patient has lost gum tissue near tooth roots, a surgical gum graft can help to reduce pain and protect roots. 

Root canal 
Your dentist may recommend a root canal if you have severe pain that does not respond to other treatment.

What can I do to prevent sensitive teeth? 

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush; a soft-bristled toothbrush is gentler on tooth enamel compared to a medium or stiff-bristled brush  
  • Don't brush too hard; rough brushing can affect tooth enamel 
  • Limit how often you eat or drink acidic foods. Regularly consuming acidic drinks such as citrus juices, carbonated beverages, and wine can affect your tooth enamel; drink water after consuming an acidic beverage to reduce acid levels 
  • Limit tooth bleaching. A regular desire for pearly whites can cause temporary pain; talk with your dentist about how tooth bleaching can affect your teeth and if you should continue bleaching. 

If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, request an appointment with your dentist. They will recommend a treatment to reduce tooth sensitivity and alleviate pain or discomfort based on your oral health needs. 

Did you know...

More than 1 in 4 people have untreated tooth decay

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Advantage Dental Oral Health Center

This blog is designed to provide general information and discussions about health and dental-related subjects. No doctor/dentist to patient relationship is established by your use of this blog or website. We are not providing any treatment or diagnosis on this blog, and it is not intended to offer specific dental or medical advice to anyone. The information or other content provided in this blog is not a substitute for professional dental expertise or treatment. We will do our best to provide you with information that will help you make your own healthcare decisions, however no guarantees or warranties are made regarding any of the information contained within this blog. If you have questions about any of the information presented on this blog, you should consult with your dentist. The dentists at Advantage Denlta from DentaQuest are licensed to practice in the state of Oregon and this blog is not intended to solicit patients from other states. External links may be provided on this blog as a service and convenience to our patients and other visitors to our blog. These external sites are created and maintained by other public and private organizations, and we do not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance or timeliness of any outside information.