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What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

Do you find yourself saying “ouch” every time you take something hot or cold? Or, do you find brushing your teeth a painful experience? You could be suffering from tooth sensitivity. Statics show that one out of every eight adults is affected by sensitive teeth. Teeth sensitivity is said to be universal. However, there are cultures that that are more prone to teeth sensitivity than others, mainly as a result diet.

What is Tooth Sensitivity and what are its Symptoms?

Sensitivity of the teeth is a condition caused by movement of fluid reserved in tiny little tubes of one’s dentin. This movement normally results in nerve irritation which causes a sensation of sharp pain.

Symptoms of sensitivity are simply defined as the short and sharp pains experienced by individuals when their teeth become exposed to air, cold foods and/or hot foods.

Common Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

There are a number of things that could cause tooth sensitivity. The root cause of most cases is related to the way the teeth are cared for, when loss of tooth enamel is the result. Listed below are some of the major causes of tooth sensitivity.

Consumption of Acidic Foods

When you expose the pathways of teeth nerves to excessive acidic foods like kiwi, tomatoes sauce, pickles, grapefruits and lemons, you face the danger of ruining your enamel. These acids can be very harsh to the enamel.

Brushing the Teeth with Too Much Gusto

It generally isn't a good idea to use excessive force while brushing your teeth. One should also avoid toothbrushes that are coupled with hard bristles.

Exerting pressure on your teeth or using hard bristled brushes can cause a wear and tear to the protective layer of your teeth. This in turn exposes the microscopic tubes of your dentine which leads to the dental nerve endings. When these nerve endings are exposed to hot, cold, and sticky foods, they cause a sharp pain.

Teeth Whitening Tooth Paste

Most whitening tooth pastes are coupled with chemicals and formulas that can harm your dentine and make them sensitive.

There are also a number of over the counter mouth washes that contain acids and alcohol which expose your dentine to sensitivity.

Genetic Predispositions

How come there are a number of people who do everything correctly and still end up with sensitive tooth? Their sensitivity is caused by genetic predispositions. They are naturally born with weak enamels. There is nothing much they can do about it because their condition is natural. However, there are a number of surgical procedures that can be used to change this type of genetic predisposition.

Remedies for Treating Sensitive Teeth

  • Desensitizing toothpaste can be a great remedy for sensitive teeth. It features chemicals that work in blocking any form of sensation from reaching your dentine nerves.

  • Use of soft bristles tooth brushes can go a long way in solving the tooth sensitivity problem.

  • If you have to use a mouthwash, ensure that you stick to fluoride mouthwash.

  • Good hygiene is necessary when treating sensitive teeth. Ensure that you brush your teeth twice a day along with flossing.

Dental Treatments for Tooth Sensitivity

If you are suffering from mild tooth sensitivity, your dentist can perform a procedure known as bonding or desensitizing. This is a procedure that allows you to apply bonding resin to areas that are sensitive.

Another procedure that is normally used by dentist to treat sensitive teeth is the surgical gum draft. If you have areas in your gum that are weak, small amounts of gum tissues can be extracted from area and attached to the affected area.

If you are having severe pain as a result of tooth sensitivity, your dentist might recommend a procedure known as a root canal. This is usually the most effective way of dealing with the sensitivity problem.

Prevention of Tooth Sensitivity

They say that prevention is better than cure. There are a number of things you can do to avoid the problem of tooth sensitivity. These include:

  • Keep away from hard bristles brushes

  • Avoid foods that have high acid levels

  • If you have to take acidic foods ensure that you drink water after consumption

  • Visit your dentist for check-ups on a regular basis


The way we take care of our teeth determines whether we will be free from teeth related diseases. Therefore, it is important to properly take care of teeth.