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What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

Avoiding hot or cold substances because of the pain you feel around your teeth when taking them is a symptom of teeth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity occurs when the gum tissues protecting the underlying later of the teeth recedes, thereby exposing the sensitive nerve of the teeth. It is experienced most times by people between the age of 25 and 30.

Symptoms of Tooth Sensitivity

  • Pain when brushing or flossing.
  • Unpleasant reactions or discomfort when taking hot or cold foods and drinks.
  • Being sensitive to sweet or acidic foods and drinks.
  • Swollen and shiny gum.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

  • Receding of the gum: the gum tissues protect the ultra-sensitive root surface of the teeth. Pulling away these tissues due to periodontal disease or brushing too hard will expose the tiny tubes of the root surface, causing teeth sensitivity.
  • Brushing your teeth too hard: brushing too hard or not using a soft brush can wear down enamel and cause exposure of the dentin and receding of the gum over time. Tiny holes in the dentin are what allow hot, cold, and sweet substances to affect the teeth nerves.
  • Overuse of mouthwash: long term and frequent use of some mouthwash can make the mouth sore because they contain acids that make already-sensitive teeth worse. The exposed dentin layer is further damaged by the acid.
  • Toothpaste and tooth whiteners: tooth whiteners and toothpaste that contain peroxide-based bleaching solution and baking soda can cause teeth sensitivity. In most cases, the feeling goes once you stop using the product
  • Cracked teeth: a cracked or broken tooth can expose to the hidden nerve-rich pulp causing irritation when chewing and exposure to bacteria which causes inflammation. Cracked teeth are often caused by munching on ice and breaking into hard candies.
  • Teeth grinding or clenching: Frequently grinding or clenching of the teeth may wear away the enamel, exposing the dentin and causing teeth sensitivity. The use of a mouth guard or diet change can help reduce teeth grinding or clenching.
  • Acidic foods: regular consumption of acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, tea, tomatoes, and pickles, can lead to erosion of the enamel, thereby exposing the dentin.
  • Recent dental procedure: dental procedures, such as tooth cleaning, tooth restoration, root planing, and crow replacement, can cause teeth sensitivity. Sensitivity as a result of dental procedure is short-term and should last for about 4 – 6 weeks.


  • Use desensitizing toothpaste: toothpaste that helps treat teeth sensitivity and reduces the symptoms should be used. They contain compounds that help protect the enamel from irritation and feel the tiny holes in the dentin.
  • Mouthguard: the use of a mouth guard helps reduce teeth grinding. Your dentist can help provide a custom-made mouthguard you can use at night.
  • Saltwater mouthwash: rinsing your mouth with a salt solution can help reduce tooth sensitivity. The salt balances the pH in the mouth, creating an environment that reduces bacterial growth.
  • Food intake: reduce the intake of acidic and sweet foods and drinks. Also, cold and hot substances shouldn’t be taken


Teeth sensitivity can be unbearable and limiting but with the right treatment, the pain can be reduced and the healing process faster. We have experienced dentist to provide medical aids, examinations, and processes if needed.

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