Tooth sensitivity: causes and what to do about it?

Let’s imagine the situation. You buy your favorite ice cream, taste it, and at the same time feel a sharp pain in your teeth. This is a vivid and painful example of tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity can also be manifested by a painful reaction to cold, sweet and sour foods and drinks. A little less commonly, people with sensitive teeth experience sharp pain when drinking hot drinks and food or when brushing.

If you have noticed such symptoms in yourself, it may indicate that your teeth have become sensitive. Why this happened, and how to deal with it, we’ll explain further. Additionally, our dentist NY Forest Hills will gladly advise you on this matter at VIP Dental Care clinic.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity


One of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity is cavities, which slowly and precisely deteriorate the tooth enamel. As the enamel walls degrade layer by layer, external irritants gain maximum access to the inner structures of the tooth. Therefore, when the affected tooth comes into contact with cold water, ice cream, hot coffee, or acidic fruits, we may feel a sharp, short-lived pain.

Tooth Damage

This can include cracks in the tooth enamel or damage to the tooth structures due to trauma. As a result, when the damaged tooth comes into contact with an irritant (cold, hot, or acidic food), sharp pain occurs.

Thin Tooth Enamel

This is a very common cause of sensitivity. Interestingly, numerous factors can lead to the wearing down of tooth enamel. This includes vigorous brushing with a hard toothbrush and overconsumption of acidic or hard foods.

Gum Disease

When the gums are irritated, it can also cause discomfort during consumption of certain foods or beverages, and it may mistakenly feel like the pain is not only in the gums but also in the teeth.

Exposure of Tooth Roots

This problem occurs in patients suffering from periodontitis, which leads to gum recession. This gradual reduction in gum height and other soft structures supporting the tooth results in the exposure of the tooth root, which is sensitive to food, drinks, or even cold air.

Old Dental Fillings or Poorly Done Fillings

A dental filling is a special material that restores tooth structures. However, over time, it can deteriorate, leading to microcavities between the filling and the natural tooth enamel. If small particles of food or liquid enter these microcavities, even minimal ones, we experience the consequences of tooth sensitivity.

Excessive Use of Teeth Whitening Gel

Excessive use of teeth whitening gel can also lead to a reduction in the thickness of enamel walls, resulting in tooth sensitivity and all the unpleasant consequences that follow.

Diagnosis of Tooth Sensitivity

Typically, diagnosing such a dental problem involves a professional superficial examination of the oral cavity:

  • During the examination, the dentist carefully inspects the oral cavity for signs of cavities, damage, or gum disease.
  • If the superficial examination does not provide answers to the questions, the dentist may prescribe additional diagnostics. For example, dental X-rays, panoramic imaging, or computer tomography to ensure the health of not only the external but also the root part of the teeth.

Home Remedies and Tips

Here are a few rules and tips to help prevent tooth sensitivity and improve oral health:

  1. Adhere to daily oral hygiene rules.
  2. Use fluoride toothpaste.
  3. Choose a toothbrush of small or medium stiffness.
  4. Strictly follow the rules for using whitening gels.
  5. Avoid excessive consumption of sweet and sour foods.
  6. Avoid hard foods that can excessively wear down enamel.
  7. Use a mouthwash for teeth and gums to protect enamel and gums from plaque and bacteria.

If your tooth sensitivity persists for more than 2-3 weeks even with adherence to these rules, seek qualified dental help. Perhaps in your case, professional dental treatment for teeth and gums is necessary. Delaying in such cases is not advisable.

Yucatán Studio
Yucatán Studio
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