Many of us say we have “sensitive teeth.” We usually mean that we feel twinges of pain or discomfort in our teeth in certain situations. These may include:
- Drinking or eating cold things
- Drinking or eating hot things
- Eating sweets
- Touching the teeth with other teeth or the tongue
- Brushing your teeth too hard. This can wear away the enamel layer.
- Poor oral hygiene. This may allow tartar to build up at the gum line.
- Long-term tooth wear
- Untreated cavities
- An old filling with a crack or leak
- Receding gums that expose the tooth’s roots. Receding gums often are caused by periodontal diseases or by brushing too hard.
- Gum surgery that exposes a tooth’s roots
- Tooth whitening in people who have tooth roots that already are exposed
- Frequently eating acidic foods or drinking acidic liquids
- You might be able to reduce your chances of dentinal sensitivity by:
- Brushing twice a day and flossing daily
- Using a soft or ultra soft toothbrush and brushing gently up and down, rather than side to side
- Using a fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinse
- Using a toothpaste that provides protection against sensitivity
- Getting treatment for grinding or clenching your teeth (bruxism)