12 Surprising Causes of Sudden Tooth Sensitivity

Having sensitive teeth is frustrating because it prevents you from enjoying hot and cold foods and drinks, such as ice cream and coffee. You may be perplexed as to why you are suddenly experiencing discomfort whenever severe temperatures are applied to your teeth if you have never had this problem. Here is a list of 12 things that could trigger your sensitive teeth.

12 Surprising Causes of Sudden Tooth Sensitivity

Many things might wear down your teeth and lead to acute dental sensitivity, but there are usually only 12 major causes.

1. Extreme temperatures can kill

The teeth' sensitivity results from eroded enamel and exposed nerves. A quick, intense pain might occur when ingesting something abnormally low or high temperature.

2. Tooth Decay

The degradation of enamel and dentin caused by bacterial acidity is tooth decay. Although this simple tooth ailment may appear evident, it is common and often goes unnoticed. If your dentist notices any early signs of decay in the grooves of your teeth, he or she may use a sealant solution to protect and fill up the grooves. Nonetheless, a filling will be necessary if the enamel has been badly damaged.

3. Gum recession

Pink gum tissue covers the underlying bone and completely encases each tooth's root, shielding the pulp and nerve endings below. Gum recession, the result of gum tissue wearing away with age, is common.

Gum recession increases a person's susceptibility to gum disease and tooth infections by exposing the tooth roots. Gum recession should be suspected if you notice a rapid increase in tooth sensitivity.

4. Erosion of the tooth enamel

Some type of "dentin hypersensitivity" is thought to affect at least 12% of the general population, causing pain and discomfort during meals for those affected. Too much acid in the diet and excessively vigorous tooth brushing might contribute to this condition.

This leads to gradual degradation and eventual loss of the tooth enamel that protects your teeth from decay. When this happens, you may experience severe pain that sends chills up your spine whenever you eat particular foods.

5. Harsh brushing

Tooth sensitivity can be exacerbated by using an abrasive toothbrushing method. The American Dental Association reports that brushing too hard or too frequently can cause tooth sensitivity.

6. Consuming An Overwhelming Quantity Of Acidic Foods And Drinks

Over time, the acids in food can wear down your tooth enamel, exposing the sensitive pulp at the root of your tooth and causing pain. Red wine, coffee, soda pop, citrus fruits including lemons, limes, oranges, pickled vegetables, and tomato sauce are all acidic foods.

You should avoid eating or drinking anything acidic for at least 20-30 minutes before you clean your teeth. Drink some still water before, during, and after eating these items.

7. Whitening one's teeth

A side effect of teeth whitening treatments is often transient tooth sensitivity. The overuse of chemical teeth whiteners might potentially cause this problem. Consult your dentist and use the teeth whitening product as directed to lessen the possibility of tooth sensitivity.

8. Grinding Your Teeth

Individuals who stress-grind their teeth or clench their jaws while sleeping are also more likely to experience tooth sensitivity. The grinding motion wears down tooth enamel. If you grind your teeth at night, your dentist may suggest that you wear a mouthguard to bed.

9. Use of Mouthwash in Excess

Alcohol-based mouthwashes can cause long-term tooth damage and sensitivity in certain people. Don't abuse it. Your dentist may advise you to rinse with salt water or an alcohol-free fluoride mouthwash. Talk to your dentist about how often you should rinse and what kind of mouthwash is safest for your teeth.

10. Broken or chipped fillings

Broken fillings can expose the sensitive pulp inside the tooth. A visit to the dentist to have the damage corrected is generally the solution. If the dentist discovers new decay, he or she may suggest additional procedures or refer you to an endodontist. Cold liquids or food can sneak in between the filling and the tooth and cause temperature sensitivity and dental damage if there are gaps.

11. Recent Dental Procedure

After surgery, it's normal for teeth to be sensitive as they heal. Sensitivity is a typical side effect of dental work, such as a filling or a crown. If your dentist gives you specific post-op care recommendations, adhering to them is important. Tell your dentist if the sensitivity continues or gets worse.

12. Sinus infection

A sinus infection can also be one of the causes of pain in the teeth and jaw. When your sinuses become inflamed and swollen due to an infection, they can put pressure on the ends of your teeth's nerves, causing pain.


Several different things could cause a sudden toothache. Most of these problems stem from gum and tooth enamel wearing away over time.

Go to your dentist if you suddenly start experiencing hypersensitive teeth. An examination by a dentist is warranted if you're experiencing discomfort in your teeth, even if it's not an emergency.

Updated on: 11-Apr-2023


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