Why are my teeth sensitive?

7th October 2019

One of the questions we are most frequently asked by patients is why their teeth are sensitive. Painful twinges can be felt when teeth are exposed to air or when consuming hot, cold, sweet or acidic drinks or foods. There are several possible causes for this condition (called dentine sensitivity) and here we look at what these might be and how to help prevent them in the future.

Why your teeth feel sensitive

Tooth sensitivity is caused when the enamel protecting the teeth is eroded or through recession of the gumline. When either of these things happen, the soft dentine layer (the tissue that makes up the bulk of a tooth’s structure) becomes exposed. Dentine is connected to the tooth’s delicate nerve that triggers pain when in contact with reactive substances.

What you can do

  • See your dentist. They will be able to determine what the causes of your tooth sensitivity may be. Discomfort can often result from a cavity, a cracked or chipped tooth or a worn filling. Acidity in the diet is a common cause, whilst bleaching (used to whiten teeth) and teeth grinding are other possible contributory factors.
  • Twice daily brushing with a specialist tooth paste such as Sensodyne will help alleviate mild sensitivity. Be careful that you don’t brush too hard or for too long – this can wear away the enamel.
  • Consider your diet; foods and drinks containing acid can erode the enamel on your teeth and exacerbate the problem.

As ever, if you would like advice about tooth sensitivity or any other aspect of your dental care, please let us know. We can be contacted on 01423 503 428 or at info@coppiceviewdental.co.uk.


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Coppice View Dental Care
104 Kings Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 5HH