Tooth Sensitivity – What Causes It?


Many people find that their teeth get sensitive, particularly when eating/drinking an extremely cold or hot food/beverage or when stepping out into chilly environmental conditions. Almost all of us have experienced tooth sensitivity on occasion, but if it occurs regularly then this is a sign that you may have an underlying dental condition. In this blog post CB Dental Care will be sharing some common causes of sensitivity and how this condition can be managed.


The 4 Main Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity can affect a single tooth, or multiple teeth. Some people only experience mild sensitivity which may be intermittent, whilst others find the condition painful. Typically, tooth sensitivity is brought on by stimuli such as:

  • Consumption of hot/cold food and beverages
  • Cool weather
  • A diet high in acidic fruits and drinks
  • Brushing too aggressively

Teeth have a layer of enamel on their surface, which serves to strengthen the teeth and provide protection against sensitivity. The presence of excess amounts of bacteria (plaque) and an acidic diet can degrade the enamel, potentially exposing the dentine of the tooth. This will typically result in chronic tooth pain and sensitivity, and you will need to seek treatment to prevent your condition getting any worse. 

Tooth Sensitivity Can Also Indicate Potential Underlying Issues

You should never assume that tooth sensitivity will go away on its own. Whilst we all experience sensitivity from time to time, chronic conditions indicate that there may be an underlying issue in need of addressing. It is not uncommon for those with tooth sensitivity to also be suffering from the following:

  • Gum Disease – if you notice swelling, bleeding, redness or tenderness around your teeth you may have gum disease. The recession of the gums can expose the tooth root surface. 
  • Tooth Decay – if allowed to progress to the late stages, tooth decay can affect the dental pulp/dentine and result in chronic pain and sensitivity. 
  • Damaged Teeth – any chips or cracks in teeth should be examined by your dentist, as this can also expose the dental pulp or dentine. 

Tips for Preventing Tooth Sensitivity

The best way to minimise the risk of experiencing tooth sensitivity is to maintain a good oral hygiene routine (brushing twice daily, flossing) and reduce consumption of sugary and acidic foods. You may wish to try using a desensitising toothpaste, such as Sensodyne or Colgate Pro Relief. 

It is important not too brush too hard, as this will damage the enamel. Dentists recommend using a soft bristled toothbrush rather than a hard toothbrush, and you should brush using gentle, even strokes. 

Experiencing Tooth Sensitivity? Visit Central Brunswick Dental Care Today

Tooth sensitivity can be disconcerting, and it is important to determine whether you may have any underlying conditions such as tooth decay or gum disease. Central Brunswick Dental Care are open Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm. Call now on 07 3216 1100 to book an appointment. We look forward to seeing you soon.