10 Biggest Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Many people have tooth sensitivity, which can be painful and uncomfortable when eating, drinking, or brushing their teeth. For this condition to be prevented and treated, it is essential to understand the underlying reasons. In this article, we'll go into more detail about the top 10 reasons for tooth sensitivity.

Ten Causes of Tooth Sensitivity You Must Know

1. Enamel Erosion

One of the most considered crucial factors for tooth sensitivity is enamel degradation. Your teeth' hard outer coating, called enamel, guards them against deterioration and injury. The underlying dentin layer becomes visible when the enamel is worn away due to poor oral hygiene, acidic foods and beverages, or teeth grinding. Sensitivity is brought on by the small tubules in the dentin that connect to the tooth's nerve.

Using fluoride-containing toothpaste twice a day, flossing daily, and scheduling routine cleanings and checkups with your dentist may keep your enamel from eroding. Using a mouthguard if you grind your teeth and avoiding acidic foods and beverages like citrus fruits and soda can also help prevent enamel erosion.

2. Gum Recession

The gum tissue pulls away from the tooth in a condition known as gum recession, exposing the root surface. Ageing, gum disease, or vigorous brushing can all contribute to this. The lack of enamel protection on the root surface makes it more sensitive.

Use gentle brushing methods and a soft-bristled toothbrush, and avoid brushing your teeth too frequently or hard in order to prevent gum recession. Gum recession and tooth sensitivity can both be avoided with the quick management of gum disease and regular dental visits.

3. Tooth Decay

A bacterial infection known as tooth decay erodes the enamel and dentin of the tooth. If the decay is not addressed, it may eventually go to the tooth's nerve, making it sensitive and painful.

Maintaining good dental hygiene, staying clear of sweet and acidic foods and beverages, and scheduling routine cleanings and exams with your dentist can all help prevent tooth decay. Early cavity treatment can also help stop tooth deterioration and discomfort.

4. Fractured Teeth

Trauma, grinding, or biting down on hard objects can all cause a tooth to fracture. Sensitivity can result from a fracture that exposes the dentin and irritates the nerve.

Avoiding biting down on hard objects, wearing a mouthguard if you grind your teeth, and treating dental injuries quickly are all vital ways to prevent fractured teeth. It's crucial to visit your dentist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment if you have tooth sensitivity as a result of a cracked tooth.

5. Teeth Grinding

The disorder known as bruxism, or teeth grinding, causes you to clench or grind your teeth when awake or sleeping. Enamel and dentin may be worn away, exposing the nerves and increasing sensitivity.

The underlying causes of teeth grinding, such as stress or misaligned teeth, must be found and treated to stop the habit. Your dentist could suggest a specially-made mouthguard to shield your teeth from grinding and avoid dental irritation.

6. Overuse of Whitening Products

Chemicals found in whitening solutions have the potential to irritate your teeth's nerves and increase sensitivity. These products might cause enamel erosion and sensitivity when used excessively or improperly.

It's crucial to use whitening products as prescribed in order to avoid tooth sensitivity brought on by improper use of the items. Stop using the whitening product as soon as you notice tooth sensitivity, and consult your dentist for assistance.

7. Acidic Foods and Drinks

Acidic foods and beverages like citrus fruits, tomatoes, and soda can erode the enamel and expose the dentin, causing teeth to become sensitive. It's crucial to keep your intake of acidic foods and beverages to a minimum and to rinse your mouth with water afterwards to neutralise the acid. Acidic drinks should be consumed with a straw to reduce contact with teeth.

8. Age

Our gums naturally recede as we age, exposing the tooth root. Sensitivity is more likely in elderly adults because the dentin on the tooth's root surface is more sensitive than the enamel on the tooth's crown.

Maintaining appropriate oral hygiene practices throughout your life, such as regular brushing and flossing, as well as regular dental examinations, is crucial to preventing age-related tooth sensitivity. A toothpaste made specifically for sensitive teeth may also be helpful for older folks.

9. Dental Procedures

Cleanings, fillings, and crowns are a few dental procedures that might temporarily make teeth sensitive. This is typically brought on by tooth manipulation or dental products that might irritate nerves.

Follow your dentist's post-procedure instructions carefully to avoid tooth sensitivity after dental treatments. These instructions may include avoiding hard or sticky foods, using toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth, and taking any painkillers as directed.

10. Genetics

Due to genetic factors, some folks are more susceptible to tooth sensitivity. For instance, some people are more sensitive because their enamel is thinner or their dentin is more exposed.

Tooth sensitivity brought on by heredity can, sadly, not be prevented too much. However, avoiding known triggers such as acidic meals and beverages and maintaining good oral hygiene practices helps reduce sensitivity.

Tipsfor dealing with Tooth Sensitivity

  • Use a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth − There are many toothpaste options available specifically designed for people with tooth sensitivity. These kinds of toothpaste can help to reduce pain and discomfort by blocking the pathways that lead to sensitive nerves.

  • Avoid acidic foods − Acidic foods and beverages can hamper your teeth' enamel, making them more susceptible to sensitivity. Try to limit your intake of citrus fruits, soda, and other acidic foods and drinks.

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush − Brushing too hard or using a toothbrush with stiff bristles can cause damage to your tooth enamel, leading to sensitivity. Go for a soft- bristled toothbrush, and don' be too aggressive while brushing.

  • Don't grind your teeth − Grinding your teeth can wear away your enamel, leading to sensitivity. If you grind your teeth, get a mouth guard under your doctor's advice.

  • Consider fluoride treatments − Fluoride treatments can help to strengthen your tooth enamel, reducing sensitivity. Talk to your dentist about whether a fluoride treatment is right for you.

  • Avoid cold temperatures − If you have sensitive teeth, you may experience pain when exposed to cold temperatures. Try to avoid drinking cold water or eating ice cream and other cold foods.

  • Visit your dentist − If your tooth sensitivity persists, make an appointment with your dentist. They can help to identify the cause of your sensitivity and recommend the best treatment options.


Tooth sensitivity is a very common and uncomfortable problem for many people. Knowing what causes tooth sensitivity can help you to avoid or treat the issue before it becomes acute. We hope our list of the top ten causes of tooth sensitivity has given you an idea of what to look out for and how best to prevent further issues. If your symptoms persist, make sure to contact your dentist at the earliest to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Updated on: 23-Mar-2023


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