Sensitive Teeth — Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment 

Oct 25 2022

Having a tooth or set of teeth that hurt when they’re exposed to hot, cold, or certain foods can be frustrating and painful. While tooth pain can be the sign of a cavity, it could also be that you have sensitive teeth. The following reviews the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for sensitive teeth. If you have sensitive teeth, calling a dentist can help. 

Symptoms of Sensitive Teeth

Tooth sensitivity usually presents itself in the form of pain or discomfort when the tooth comes in contact with the following:

  • Hot foods and beverages
  • Cold foods and beverages
  • Cold air
  • Sweet foods and beverages
  • Cold water
  • Alcohol-based mouth rinses
  • Brushing and flossing teeth

Of course, this list is not inclusive. There may be something else that causes pain or discomfort for you. 

Causes of Sensitive Teeth

As stated above, a sensitive tooth may be a sign of a cavity, but this is not always the case. Causes of sensitive teeth might include:

  • Worn down enamel as a result of excessive vomiting from bulimia or gastroparesis
  • Recession of the gum, which can leave the root of the tooth exposed
  • Exposure of the dentin, the inner part of the tooth, which may be caused by tooth decay, a broken/worn down filling or crown, or a chipped tooth

Teeth might also hurt as a result of drinking too acidic of beverages, grinding teeth at night, brushing or flossing too aggressively, or getting a dental treatment, such as a filling or teeth whitening. In the event of the latter, however, teeth sensitivity should only last for a couple of days. 

Treating Sensitive Teeth

While sensitive teeth can be uncomfortable, there are treatment options available. 

In most cases, sensitive teeth can be treated by using over-the-counter toothpaste that is designed specifically for sensitive teeth. This toothpaste not only has more mild ingredients that won’t irritate the teeth, but also may include ingredients to help re-mineralize and protect the area of sensitivity. Other things that you can do include switching to a softer toothbrush and brushing more gently, as well as using a mild mouthwash.

Sometimes, a dentist can prescribe toothpaste and mouthwash if over-the-counter options aren’t working. The other option may be to place a filling over the exposed root if this is the reason for sensitivity. Of course, if there are underlying medical conditions that are leading to teeth sensitivity, it’s important to treat these. 

Call Distinctive Dental Solutions Today

If you are suffering from sensitive teeth, talking to a dentist is a great starting point. At Distinctive Dental Solutions, we are accepting new patients and would love to get to know you. Reach out to our team by phone or online today to get started. 



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