What causes teeth sensitivity?

If you avoid hot or cold drinks because it hurts your teeth, it is a sign that you need to come in for a dental visit. Teeth sensitivity, medically termed dentinal hypersensitivity, can be distressing and affect a person’s quality of life. Therefore, it mandates prompt diagnosis and complete treatment. After all, no one should live in fear of pain. 

A person who suffers from sensitive teeth will experience a sharp, throbbing pain upon consuming hot and cold foods and liquids. Teeth sensitivity is usually sequela to worn-out enamel as it exposes the tooth nerve endings to the oral environment. This makes usual stimuli, like hot and cold temperatures, turn into unpleasant ones.

Due to a thinner enamel, some people naturally tend to have more sensitive teeth. Enamel is the hard, protective outer layer of the tooth. In many cases, this layer can wear or be broken down due to –

  • Improper and rigorous brushing. 
  • Using a hard-bristled toothbrush. 
  • Teeth grinding and jaw clenching. 
  • Excessive consumption of acidic liquids like carbonated soft drinks.
  • Certain medical conditions, like GERD can also contribute to tooth sensitivity. The acid from the stomach comes up and, over time, leads to the wearing down of the tooth enamel. 
  • Gum diseases lead to gum recession, exposing the previously protected tooth section, further leading to teeth sensitivity.
  • Dental cavities, broken or chipped teeth, and worn down dental fillings leave the dentin exposed, causing teeth sensitivity.
  • Teeth may become temporarily sensitive after a dental treatment like teeth whitening. However, it tends to resolve within a few weeks with care. 

Teeth sensitivity can affect a single tooth or all the teeth in the oral cavity and mandates prompt treatment for active resolution. If you have sensitive teeth, it’s time to get them checked at Wilmington Periodontics and Implants. If you have any more questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please reach out to us; our team is here to assist you. 

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