Why Do I Have Sensitive Teeth?

Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth can make life extremely difficult, causing you to have to avoid your favorite foods. As frustrating as the condition may be, you have to understand why it’s happening before you can deal with the issue. Your teeth may be sensitive for a number of different reasons.


Gum disease can cause your gums to pull away from your teeth. When this happens, the roots and nerves become exposed, and you may feel pain when you eat or drink something hot or cold, or something that irritates your teeth. Any decay or plaque buildup around the roots also can lead to sensitivity.


If you brush your teeth too hard, the enamel can wear down and reveal the dentin, which contains nerves. If you grind your teeth, this can also happen. If you’re in an accident and your teeth become chipped or cracked, sensitivity also may result.


Do you eat a lot of acidic foods? If you love citrus fruits and tomatoes or frequently drink coffee or tea, this also can contribute to a breakdown of enamel.

Dental Work

Dental procedures such as professional teeth whitening, crown placement, root canals and more all can lead to tooth sensitivity. However, unlike other forms of sensitivity, this type should pass within a few weeks.

How Can You Reduce Tooth Sensitivity?

First of all, the best way to prevent sensitive teeth is to focus on good oral health care habits. You must always brush twice per day, and floss at least once per day. This will keep plaque and bacteria at bay. By avoiding disease and decay, you will eliminate one of the major reasons for sensitive teeth.

Next, consider what toothbrush you’re using. Switch to a soft-bristled brush and ask your dentist for pointers on proper tooth-brushing techniques. Make sure you’re not scrubbing hard enough to damage your teeth. If tooth grinding is a problem for you, get fitted for a custom mouth guard or consider oral surgery to correct any jaw malformations.

You also can try adjusting your diet to see if that helps. Limit acidic agents and try to eat foods that contribute to tooth health such as yogurt, nuts or leafy greens — foods that are high in vitamins and minerals.

Finally, ask your dentist about products that can help reduce symptoms. Special toothpaste and mouthwash can relieve discomfort. Your dentist also could apply a fluoride gel to your teeth to help reestablish the enamel and protect the inner pulp.

You can trust Oak Hills Dentistry to provide accurate information and in-office help with preventing and treating sensitive teeth — call today to make an appointment.