Sensitive Teeth: Everything You Need to Know About Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Sensitive Teeth: Everything You Need to Know About Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Having teeth sensitive to pain or discomfort is something that could be an indicator of gum disease or other unhealthy dental conditions that should not be ignored. If the pain persists, it's best to see your dentist to inspect your teeth and gums, which could save you plenty of money if the problem is caught early. Here are more details on the causes, prevention, and treatments for sensitive teeth.

Causes of Sensitive Teeth

An estimated 40 million American adults suffer from painful and sensitive teeth, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. The enamel on your teeth is a layer that protects dentin, connected to a nerve that is associated with pain. Enamel damage or receding gums increase the chances of sharp pain and sensitive teeth condition. This leads to uncomfortable sensations in your teeth and gums, especially when you consume cold, sweet, acidic, hot foods or drinks.

There are various causes of this problem including:

  • Forceful brushing of your teeth can damage the protective teeth enamel
  • Incorrect flossing techniques can also lead to teeth sensitivity
  • Cavities
  • Cracked teeth
  • Worn out fillings
  • Root decay
  • Plaque buildup or Gingivitis

Related Article: Toothache: What Are the Causes, Symptoms and Pain Relief Options


There are several preventive measures you can follow to avoid future dental problems including sensitive teeth issues. Here a few simple ways to prevent teeth sensitivity:

  • Maintain proper oral hygiene
  • Brush and floss every day
  • Use soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Visit your dentist regularly
  • Stay away from highly acidic foods
  • Consider wearing a mouth guard during sleep if you have bruxism
  • Rinse your mouth using hydrogen peroxide to heal gum inflammation

Treatment Options

Luckily, various dental treatments are available when teeth become painful, as suggested by the American Dental Association.

Treatments vary depending on the source of your toothaches and include the following:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste is an option which reduces sensitivity that occurs between the tooth and nerve
  • Fluoride gel enhances tooth enamel
  • Dental procedures known to reduce sensitivity include applying treatments such as a crown, inlay or bonding
  • A surgical gum graft protects the root and reduces pain
  • Finally, if all else fails, a root canal is an effective treatment for severe pain

Related Article: How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies


Campustown Dental

Campustown Dental, located in Ames, Iowa is a family dental care center committed to restoring and enhancing the healthy smile of you and your family. Our highly skilled dental team is dedicated to delivering the most comprehensive and affordable dental care accessible in the most comfortable surroundings.

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