What Does It Mean When You Have Sensitive Teeth?

Posted on: June 18, 2018


Tooth Sensitivity

If you feel discomfort or pain when consuming cold, hot, sour or sweet beverages, brushing or flossing your teeth or even while breathing cold, sharp air, it is a sign that you have sensitive teeth.

Tooth sensitivity is a common problem that affects people of various age groups across the globe. These are the major causes of sensitive teeth:

  • Loss of cementum: mineralized tissue
  • Loss of enamel: hard covering layer on teeth
  • Gum recession

What causes teeth sensitivity?

When enamel on the tooth starts wearing out, it exposes dentin, which is an internal layer after enamel. Dentin is made of tubules, tiny anatomical tubes that run across the external surface. These are connected to the dental pulp that has blood vessels and nerves of the teeth.

When consuming something hot or cold, it perturbs the fluid flowing into the dental tubules, creating a sharp shot of pain. Particularly hot and cold beverages act as an external stimulus that triggers the sensitivity instantly, which is perceived as soreness.

However, many reasons and habits contribute to this problem.


Brushing is good, but over brushing is not. Over-brushing is one of the common reasons people, especially children, end up damaging their teeth enamel.

Brushing teeth vigorously can wear down the upper covering and cause the gum line to recede, exposing the roots of the tooth.

Teeth grinding

Over time, clenching and grinding teeth erode enamel layer and expose dentin.

Tooth whitening products

Using baking soda or peroxide products can damage enamel layers and aggravate exposed dentin.

Cracked teeth

A small crack in the tooth can expose the dentin or fill it with a plaque. This causes nerve inflammation in the tooth.


Many studies have proven that people in their mid-40s often experience sensitivity in their teeth.

Moreover, experiencing tooth sensitivity after routine dental checkups, like filling crowning, teeth cleaning or tooth restoration, is normal. These procedures cause temporary sensitivity.

What measures can you take for sensitive teeth?

As sensitive teeth are treatable, we have put together a few remedies to help patients take care of their sensitive teeth.

  • Try using desensitizing toothpaste that has the formula to block sensations from reaching tooth nerves
  • Always use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush your teeth gently
  • Use fluoride mouthwash
  • Avoid acidic foodstuffs such as citrus fruits, tomatoes and tea
  • Maintain your oral hygiene by flossing and brushing twice in a day

Bottom line

Overall, tooth sensitivity does not seem a big problem, but it might lead to severe dental issues if it lingers unnecessarily. If you have sensitive teeth, make sure to consult your dental professional to discuss the severity and cause of your teeth sensitivity.

Request an appointment in our Roswell dentist office here: https://www.moderndentalroswell.com.

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