What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

tooth sensitivityOne common issue patients raise with their dentist is tooth sensitivity. Many experience it without knowing what causes it. In today’s post, we’d like to look at that question.

Often, tooth sensitivity occurs when the gums have receded, leaving tooth roots exposed. Tubules in the roots lead down to the tooth’s nerve. These let stimuli like hot and cold reach the nerve, creating a shock of sensation.

Gum recession is spurred by a variety of factors, including:

Gum Disease

Also known as periodontal disease, this is the primary cause of gum recession. What’s more, it’s been estimated that a majority of American adults have some form of the disease. Gum disease can be treated or prevented through regular oral care at home and regular visits to your local dentist.

Brushing Technique

How you brush can impact your oral health. When you brush aggressively using a hard-bristled toothbrush, you aren’t doing your smile any favors. This kind of brushing can harm your gums and your teeth alike. Brush thoroughly but gently, and ask your doctor for advice on what kind of brush you need.

Teeth Grinding/Cracked Teeth

Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding is a common sign of stress. Over time, grinding will damage teeth, possibly to the point that teeth become cracked. When teeth are cracked, bacteria can gain access to a tooth’s pulp, causing sensitivity. See your dentist about treating your teeth grinding with an oral appliance.


It’s not uncommon for patients between 25 and 30 to experience sensitivity. If that fits your situation, talk to your doctor about what you can do to treat your discomfort.

Is sensitivity putting a damper on your sense of health and wellbeing? Call your local dentist. Sometimes changing hygiene products is all it takes to tooth sensitivity. You don’t have to live with your discomfort. A long-term solution is possible!