What is Tooth Sensitivity and How to Treat It

Tooth sensitivity occurs because the enamel on your teeth has become weak and thin exposing the surface called dentin. Dentin are the nerves that make up your teeth. When these are exposed you become very sensitive to hot and cold beverages and foods. Another cause of sensitive teeth is the exposure of roots due to the recession of the gum lines or gum disease. Once gums no longer protect a portion of the tooth or the roots the exposure is wide open leaving you very sensitive.

What is Tooth Sensitivity and How to Treat It

Photo by Garry, CC BY 2.0 

What Causes Sensitive Teeth

Tooth sensitivity also called dentin hypersensitivity can be caused by a number of things. The most obvious is the loss of enamel. This can be due to age and the fact that it naturally wears down over time, brushing your teeth too hard for too long, or using old tooth brushes. Tooth erosion is possible over time due to your nutritional habits. If you eat highly acidic foods and drink beverages with lots of acid the enamel will surely breakdown over time causing the erosion of enamel. Stomach and esophagus diseases such as acid reflux and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) can be a dramatic factor in the loss of enamel because of the amount of acid that is transferred from your intestines and stomach to your mouth. Last, gum recession is a leading cause of hypersensitivity because of the exposed roots.


Treatments are available for sensitive teeth, most notably fluoride treatments because fluoride helps strengthen the enamel on your teeth and relieve some of the pain. If you have some cracks or decaying teeth you may need some procedures performed to correct your teeth such as a root canal or a crown. These will help correct the current decaying issue and close off any exposed nerves. The pain caused from the exposed surfaces will be remedied from these procedures. The best thing you can do is see a dentist at a clinic. Dr. Martos dental clinic is proficient in sensitive teeth and has a variety of options to help you.


As with any other injury, your solution to being pain free and sensitive free is a normal oral hygiene program. It is important that you maintain the health of your teeth and mouth to prevent sensitivity issues. Make sure you are brushing your teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. It also helps to brush after meals if you can. Always include flossing at least once a day to remove the food stuck between your teeth. A tooth brush may not be able to get between your teeth like floss will. Always set up twice a year checkups with your dentist to get a deep cleaning and fluoride treatments to ensure you are maintaining your enamel. It is highly important to your overall health that your oral hygiene is in topnotch shape.

If you have had sensitivity issues in the past, make sure that you choose a tooth brush that is soft bristle so that you protect the surface of your teeth and do not brush too hard. Maintain a very good nutritional diet that limits the exposure to acidic foods, sodas, etc. It is recommended that you use a toothpaste that has fluoride in it to get the extra fluoride treatment each time you brush your teeth. There is specific tooth paste for sensitive teeth that you should look into. Maintain communication with your dentist if you have ongoing issues.


Having sensitive teeth is terribly painful, contact your dentist as soon as possible. There are a variety of treatments available and things you can do to reverse this prognosis. A good oral hygiene plan is your number one priority in overcoming this problem. There is hope and you can beat this.