What Is Causing My Tooth to Be Sensitive?

A person holding their jaw in pain while eating an apple.

Have you ever experienced a sharp pain in your teeth when consuming hot or cold foods and drinks? This is a common symptom of sensitive teeth and affects around one in eight people. But what is the cause?

Sensitive teeth can be caused by several factors. The most common reason is receding gums. As the gum tissue pulls away from the tooth root, it exposes tiny channels leading directly to nerve endings inside the pulp. When exposed to temperature changes, such as when drinking hot tea or eating ice cream, these delicate nerves can become irritated and painful. Sometimes this sensitivity will pass within minutes but sometimes it will last for up to an hour – and even longer if other conditions are present.

Another possible cause of sensitive teeth is enamel erosion due to frequent acid exposure – that is, consuming acidic foods and drinks such as fruit juices, pickles, and most carbonated beverages. These acids have the effect of wearing away at important protective structures on the outermost layer of your teeth, including enamel and cementum. If a large portion of these protective layers has been worn away, then this can leave your root surface open and vulnerable to temperature change-induced sensitivity.

Cavities are another potential source of tooth sensitivity; bacteria in plaque build-up produce acids that weaken tooth enamel over time. If a cavity has developed too close to the nerve then it could become especially painful when exposed to extreme temperatures or even just minor pressure changes – like biting down hard on something solid.

Finally, pregnancy can also lead to tooth sensitivity due to hormonal changes affecting the jawbone structure (including gums) during pregnancy. This can cause inflammation of nerve endings which may result in acute sensitivity during certain periods throughout pregnancy.

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take in order to address sensitive teeth.

  1. Visit your dentist so they can diagnose any underlying problems like cavities or gum disease that may be causing sensitivity.
  2. Use specially formulated desensitizing products available over-the-counter or use a prescription strength paste provided by your dentist.
  3. Brush with soft-bristled toothbrush using fluoridated toothpaste.
  4. Reduce consumption of acidic foods/drinks.
  5. Apply fluoride gel after brushing.
  6. Avoid overly vigorous brushing which wears away at enamel protection more quickly.
  7. Use anti-microbial mouthwash after eating.
  8. Use sugarless gum after eating sugary snacks, this helps create saliva flow which washes out harmful bacteria and food particles stuck between teeth.
  9. Consider switching from whitening products as they contain peroxide which weakens dental enamel over time making them prone to further damage/decay if not done properly with guidance from a dental professional.

By taking precautionary measures such as these you can help reduce symptoms associated with sensitive teeth while protecting against future issues arising as well! To book an appointment at our office call us (204) 663-3423 a member of our team will be happy to help you.

Book an appointment today.

(204) 663-3423

(431) 999-AQUA

1565 Regent Ave W Unit 3,
Winnipeg, MB
R2C 3B3