Teeth sensitivity comes as a result of worn-out enamel. The enamel of the teeth is a protective layer that is found on the teeth. It protects the teeth from the acids formed in the mouth. Sensitive teeth also occur due to exposure of the root of the teeth.

Tooth sensitivity can also be due to other factors. These factors include cracked teeth, gum disease, cavities, and so on. An already sensitive tooth will make some other activities cause pain in the teeth. Activities like eating, drinking things other than water (particularly acidic drinks), brushing, and even flossing can cause pain to the teeth.

Causes of sensitive teeth

Causes of teeth sensitivity comprise several things.

Wearing out of the tooth enamel

Naturally, the level of sensitivity of different individuals differs. Some people have sensitive teeth naturally, while others do not have sensitive teeth. People with sensitive teeth tend to have a thinner layer of the protective coat. This protective coat is the enamel of the teeth. It helps to protect the teeth from acidic and harmful substances.

Several things can cause the wearing down of the teeth enamel. Some of these things include;

  • Scrubbing too hard while brushing your teeth
  • The use of a hard toothbrush to brush the teeth
  • Regular consumption of foods and drinks that have a high acid level
  • Consistent grinding of the teeth

Exposure to extreme temperatures

As we’ve seen above, sensitive teeth can be due to worn-out enamel. It can also be due to exposure of nerves. When you expose your teeth which already have an exposed nerve, to extremes of temperature (either by eating cold or hot food or by taking cold drinks), you may experience pain due to how sensitive the teeth are.

Cracked/ chipped teeth

The teeth can be sensitive when it has been cracked or chipped. Chipped or cracked teeth can occur due to an accident and injury to the teeth. It can also be due to consistently grinding your teeth. Grinding of the teeth puts a surprising amount of pressure on the teeth that can cause them to crack or chip.

Cracked and chipped teeth can cause sensitivity by exposing the tooth dentin. If a chipped or cracked tooth is what is making your teeth sensitive, then it will only be a part of your mouth that will be more sensitive than usual.

Gum diseases and recession

This is another cause of sensitive teeth. When the gum has disease, it can make the teeth in the surrounding area sensitive.

Also, as you age, the gums of your teeth start to recess and wear off, leaving the roots of your teeth exposed. This recession makes your teeth sensitive and vulnerable to a tooth infection and gum diseases.

Tooth decay

Tooth decay which can also be referred to as a cavity can also be a cause of sensitive teeth. Once the teeth start to decay and become a tooth infection, you may start feeling uncomfortable and painful.

Some medical procedures

The teeth can be a bit sensitive after a medical or dental procedure. After dental procedures, some of your teeth can be sensitive can cause a little bit of temporary pain.

The sensitivity, however, is restricted to just a part of the teeth.

Some dental products

Some dental products like bleaching gel, whitening strips can cause sensitive teeth. Using some of these products can put you at a higher risk of having sensitive teeth. Once you start experiencing pain from using these products, it is advisable to stop using them, and the pain will leave.

Why should I see a doctor/dentist

Even though sensitive teeth are not a cause for an emergency, attention should still be paid to them. You should see a dentist or doctor early so as to detect the cause of the sensitive teeth. Treatment should be done as soon as possible to avoid more complicated dental issues.

You should see a doctor when your teeth become sensitive overnight when they were not like that before. It might not be a tough thing, and the treatment might be as simple as just recommending a sensitivity-reducing toothpaste.

Also, your doctor will know if what you need is a corrective dental procedure. Corrective dental procedures include teeth extraction, tooth filling, and so on. These procedures will help to relieve the pain that comes from sensitive teeth.

When should I see a Dentist

Although sensitive teeth at the beginning might not be complicated and need you to rush to an emergency ward. You should still visit your dentist when you observe specific symptoms. Here are some of the symptoms that should take you knocking on your dentist’s door.

You should see a dentist when;

  • you have toothaches that have lasted for more than 48 hours
  • you experience aching, sharp, and throbbing pain that does not reduce
  • you have a persistent headache that reaches the sides of your teeth
  • you have toothaches that bring along with itself fever
  • you start having sores

Treatment of sensitive teeth

You may feel like your teeth sensitivity is not so serious and does not require you to see a dentist. Here are a few things that can be done to treat it yourself

You can use kinds of toothpaste that are made mainly for sensitive teeth. This type of toothpaste prevents painful sensations from traveling to the nerves.

You should also ensure to use mouth wash and rinse that does not have alcohol in them. This will not irritate the already sensitive teeth like an alcohol-based mouthwash.

Make sure you also refrain from using a hard toothbrush. A hard-bristled toothbrush erodes the enamel of the teeth. This erosion is the primary cause of sensitive teeth. To prevent erosion of the enamel of the teeth, you should use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Also, make sure you scrub your teeth with soft strokes instead of hard ones.


Sensitive teeth might necessarily not need the attention of a dentist. Using a home remedy can help to treat cases of sensitive teeth. In a case where home remedy does not work, schedule an appointment with your dentist for a check-up and adequate treatment.

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