Why are my Teeth Sensitive?

Why are my Teeth Sensitive

If you’ve ever had tooth sensitivity, you know how miserable it can be. Tooth sensitivity is a common dental problem that can cause pain when eating or drinking something hot, cold, or sweet. But what causes tooth sensitivity in the first place? In this blog post, we will discuss the basics of tooth anatomy and explain why some teeth are sensitive to certain stimuli while others are not. Then we’ll list and describe several factors that can contribute to tooth sensitivity. So if you’re wondering why your teeth hurt every time you drink coffee or eat ice cream, keep reading!

What is tooth sensitivity?

three tooth layers

To understand tooth sensitivity, we must first understand basic tooth anatomy. Each tooth is made up of three layers: the enamel, the dentin, and the pulp. The enamel is the hard outer layer that protects the tooth from damage. The dentin is a softer layer beneath the enamel that contains tiny tubes that lead to the pulp. The pulp is the innermost layer of the tooth that contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue.

The enamel and dentin make up the vast majority of the tooth, and they are both quite hard. However, they are not impervious to damage. Tooth sensitivity is a common dental problem that occurs when the tooth’s enamel is worn down, exposing the underlying dentin. Dentin is a sensitive layer of tooth tissue that contains small pores. When these pores are exposed, they can allow hot, cold, or sweet stimuli to reach the nerve endings in the teeth, causing pain.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

There are many factors that can contribute to tooth sensitivity. Let’s take a look at some of the most common:

Brushing Too Hard:

worn tooth enamel

One of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity is brushing too hard or using a toothbrush with hard bristles. When you brush your teeth too forcefully or use a hard bristled brush, you can wear down the enamel, exposing the dentin and causing sensitivity.

Bruxism:

Bruxism is a condition that causes people to grind or clench their teeth. This can occur during the day or at night while you are sleeping. Over time, bruxism can wear down the enamel on your teeth and cause sensitivity.

Acidic Foods and Beverages:

Acidic foods and beverages can also contribute to tooth sensitivity. When you consume acidic foods or drinks, the acid can erode the enamel on your teeth. This can lead to sensitivity and pain.

Gum Recession:

Gum recession is a condition in which the gums pull away from the teeth, exposing more of the tooth’s root. This can occur for a variety of reasons, including brushing too hard, periodontal disease, or genetics. Gum recession can cause sensitivity because it exposes the root of the tooth, which does not have enamel to protect it.

Tooth Decay:

Tooth decay is another common cause of tooth sensitivity. When you have a cavity, the tooth decay can reach the dentin and cause pain. If decay reaches the pulp, then it can also cause a painful pulp infection.

Tooth Damage:

Damage to your teeth can also lead to sensitivity. This damage can be caused by trauma, such as a fall or an injury, or by wear and tear over time. When your teeth are damaged, it can expose the dentin and lead to sensitivity.

Old Restorations:

If you have old dental restorations, such as fillings or crowns, they can also cause tooth sensitivity. Over time, these materials can break down and allow hot, cold, or sweet stimuli to reach the nerve endings in your teeth.

GERD:

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus. This can cause heartburn and other symptoms. GERD can also cause tooth sensitivity because the acid can erode the enamel on your teeth.

In Conclusion

In this blog post, we have discussed why teeth can be sensitive. We have also looked at some of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort when eating or drinking anything hot, cold, or sweet, talk to your dentist to find out if you have sensitive teeth and what to do about them. Thanks for reading!

Dr. Sisko

Dr. Gerald Sisko graduated from Ohio State University College of Dentistry in 1987. He is an active member of the American Dental Association, the Ohio Dental Association, and the Akron Dental Society where he is currently holding a council position. He has had the honor and distinction of being awarded “TOP DENTIST” in Akron and Cleveland as well as Northeast Ohio for the last several consecutive years.

Facebook
Twitter
Email
LinkedIn
Pinterest
WhatsApp

Further Reading

woman sticking out her tongue

The Benefits of Tongue Cleaning

Embarking on a journey toward comprehensive oral health uncovers a pivotal yet frequently overlooked step: tongue cleaning. This essential aspect of dental care does more than complement your brushing and flossing routine; it serves as a gateway to a fresher, healthier mouth. Our exploration into the world of tongue cleaning will unveil the science behind its benefits, practical tips for effective cleaning, and the profound impact it can have on oral and overall health. As we delve into the nuances of this simple yet transformative practice, prepare to discover how a clean tongue can be the missing link in your quest for optimal oral hygiene and fresher breath.

Read More »
lower half of woman's smiling face as she pulls floss out of container

How to Properly Brush and Floss Your Teeth

Diving into the world of dental care, the twin pillars of a healthy mouth—brushing and flossing—stand as non-negotiable routines for anyone keen on preserving their oral health. Yet, the simplicity of these actions belies the complexity of performing them correctly. This blog post is dedicated to demystifying the art and science behind effective brushing and flossing techniques. From the selection of the right tools to the nuanced motions that ensure a thorough clean, we offer a deep dive into the practices that are essential for keeping plaque at bay, preventing gum disease, and securing a gleaming smile. Leveraging insights from dental experts, this guide promises to elevate your daily oral hygiene routine from mundane to meticulous, ensuring that your teeth and gums receive the care they truly deserve.

Read More »
pretty woman smiling with white teeth

7 Ways to Keep Your Smile Healthy

Maintaining healthy teeth is crucial for overall well-being, affecting not just your smile but also your ability to enjoy food and communicate confidently. Beyond regular brushing and flossing, several key practices can significantly impact dental health. Here are seven essential tips to keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright.

Read More »
Oral cancer medical concept as a mouth with malignant disease cells with 3D illustration elements.

Types of Oral Cancers

Oral cancer is a serious health concern that affects thousands of people worldwide every year. It refers to cancer that develops in any part of the mouth, including the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses, and pharynx (throat). Early detection and treatment are crucial for improving the prognosis of oral cancer, which underscores the importance of regular dental appointments. In this blog, we will explore the different types of oral cancers and highlight why regular dental check-ups are vital for early intervention.

Read More »
Skip to content