3 Causes Of Tooth Sensitivity

Whether felt while brushing and flossing or while eating ice cream or drinking a cold beverage, tooth sensitivity can be very uncomfortable. In many cases, this pain and discomfort can be so severe, it can cause you to stop enjoying favorite foods and drinks. Fortunately, treatment is available, but determining the cause is key to efficient and effective relief. If you are part of the 50 percent of the population with sensitive teeth, use this guide to understand a few common causes of this dental disorder.

Excessive Brushing

You may be surprised to learn that too much brushing can actually be bad for your teeth.

Brushing too many times during the day and brushing too aggressively will wear down the enamel on the surface of your teeth. Without this protective coating of enamel, the tooth pulp and nerves will be exposed to water, food, and air, causing the teeth to be overly sensitive.

If you experience tooth sensitivity regularly, consult your cosmetic dentist to determine if your enamel has started to erode and wear down. Using remineralization toothpastes can help restore some of the enamel that has been lost. Your dentist may also suggest an application of fluoride, which will strengthen the existing enamel.


Bruxism is another common cause of tooth sensitivity, but you may not even realize you have this condition.

Characterized by the constant clenching of the jaw and grinding of the teeth, bruxism can wear down the tooth enamel, exposing nerves and making your teeth more sensitive. In addition, the wearing down of the enamel will make your teeth more susceptible to decay and cavities.

If you suffer from bruxism, your dentist will recommend wearing a mouth guard while sleeping, since is the most common time for people to grind their teeth. The mouth guard will protect the teeth from more damage, but you should also discuss restorative options for your enamel with your dentist.

Whitening Treatments

The use of whitening toothpastes, rinses, and professional treatments can also lead to tooth sensitivity.

Most whitening products and treatments use bleaching agents, such as peroxide, which eat through stubborn residue and heavy stains. Unfortunately, these bleaching chemicals are also capable of eating through your surface enamel.

You may experience sensitivity immediately after a whitening treatment. If you use whitening products and treatments excessively, you may feel the pain and discomfort of tooth sensitivity on a continuous basis.

Reducing the number of times you whiten your teeth can help. In addition, making certain lifestyle changes, such as decreasing the amount of wine, coffee, and tea you drink and no longer using tobacco products, can keep your teeth whiter without bleaching chemicals.