What Is Tooth Sensitivity and What Makes Teeth Sensitive?

Most Common Causes of Teeth Sensitivity

Sometimes ordinary daily activities can become a cause for grave concern, such as experiencing a sudden jolt of pain while taking your favorite hot drink or even ice cream. It can also happen while brushing your teeth. These are occasions of tooth sensitivity. The experience can put aside some of your favorite things to do. Find out more about tooth sensitivity and its causes.

What is Tooth Sensitivity? It is a certain pain or discomfort described as a sudden, short, or sharp sensation felt in the teeth as a response to a particular stimulus – like something hot, or cold, or sweet. It can involve just a tooth or several teeth. It can be a temporary or a chronic condition.

We know that teeth are composed of an outer enamel and a second layer called the dentin. The dentin makes up the bulk of the tooth providing added protection. It also surrounds the pulp chamber which is rich in blood supply and nerves. The dentin is porous and softer than enamel. As such, when exposed, it decays more easily than enamel. It contains microscopic tubules that are pathways to the nerve. When the dentine is compromised, it can lead to tooth sensitivity.

What factors can cause tooth sensitivity?

  • Too much or overzealous brushing is not good for teeth. Consistently using too much pressure, especially with a hard-bristle brush, can slowly erode the enamel. Sometimes, a vigorous tooth brushing can expose the cementum, the protective layer that surrounds the roots of teeth. This habit weakens the enamel and exposes the dentin.
  • Broken, chipped, or a cracked tooth may also expose the dentin.
  • Tooth decay can also cause tooth sensitivity.
  • Bruxism, or the habit of teeth grinding, can erode several teeth at the same time.
  • Gum recession, where the gums pull away from the teeth and expose the roots, creating pockets, makes teeth very sensitive to stimuli.
  • Reflux disease or GERD may leave acidic residue in the mouth, slowly eroding the enamel and exposing the dentin.
  • Teeth whitening can result in temporary teeth sensitivity. This, however, resolves after a short time.


Attending To Tooth Sensitivity in Bellevue

If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, visit your Bellevue dental professional immediately for a proper assessment.