Black man in a blue dress shirt cringes in pain and touches his cheek due to sensitive teeth

What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

Have you been feeling lingering aches or sudden bursts of pain in your teeth? These uncomfortable sensations can occur when your dentin, the tooth layer under your enamel, becomes irritated by pressure, extreme temperatures, and sweets. An increase in tooth sensitivity can be caused by the following issues:

  1. Decay
  2. Tooth sensitivity could mean you have an untreated cavity or a past filling has failed. Tooth decay and cavities are caused by bacteria that produce acidic byproducts, which thins your enamel. Weakened enamel exposes more of your tooth’s dentin so the tiny tubules connected to your tooth’s nerve endings become overly stimulated. Getting professional restorative treatment at the dentist can repair and protect your tooth.

  3. Receding Gums
  4. Gum tissue can recede because of various factors, such as aggressive brushing, smoking, genetics, and poor oral hygiene. Loss of gum tissue exposes the roots and nerves of your teeth, which can cause sensitivity. Daily brushing with an anti-sensitivity toothpaste can help reduce discomfort due to gum recession.

  5. Acid
  6. Your tooth enamel can erode due to stomach acid from frequent vomiting and acid reflux, as well as acids found in the foods and beverages that you consume. Thin enamel causes the dentin to be more vulnerable. Drink plenty of water, get treatment for any digestive issues, and abstain from highly acidic foods and drinks.

  7. Teeth Grinding
  8. Chronic teeth grinding and clenching, also known as bruxism, wears out your tooth enamel and exposes the underlying dentin. It can also lead to a stiff and painful jaw, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and headaches. Teeth grinding usually occurs during sleep, especially when someone is stressed. If you grind your teeth, wear a custom nightguard and look into ways to reduce your stress, anger, and anxiety during the day.

Consult with Our Team!

Only your dentist can make a proper diagnosis of what is causing your teeth sensitivity, so be sure to make an appointment with us at Donald Kim, DDS, Family & Cosmetic Dentistry! Even if your pain comes and goes, there could be a larger issue not visible to the naked eye. Prompt evaluation and treatment can prevent more serious problems down the line.

Our team provides comprehensive dental care and welcomes patients of all ages. If you’re experiencing dental discomfort, especially sensations that are concentrated in one area, please contact us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.


April 26, 2023 2:00 pm
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