Tooth Sensitivity

Why are my teeth sensitive?

There are a number factors that can lead to sensitive teeth:

  • When due for a cleaning
  • After dental cleaning
  • After receiving dental treatment
  • When consuming cold beverages
  • When breathing in cold air through the mouth

It is sometimes experienced when you are due for a cleaning.  Plaque is acidic and acid in direct contact with the tooth and underneath the gums for a long period of time can cause irritation to the teeth and the gums.  In most cases, the sensitivity resolves within days or weeks after a professional dental cleaning.

Your teeth may become sensitive after a dental cleaning.  When tartar buildup is removed, the tooth that was once insulated from external environment by this buildup is now exposed and can be transiently sensitive.

Another common cause may be due to having thin enamel.  As discussed previously, enamel is the strongest substance in the human body and it helps to protect and insulate the tooth from the external environment.  When the enamel becomes thin – whether through acid erosion, grinding or any other reason – you have less material to insulate the nerve inside the tooth, resulting in tooth sensitivity.

The most conservative approach is to use over-the-counter toothpastes for sensitive teeth.  It can take a few weeks to take effect.  These over-the-counter products can be found in most drug stores are often are very effective in resolving this type of tooth sensitivity.  Visit our office to learn more about other options.

What is my tooth sensitive to sugar foods?

Tooth sensitivity to sugar is sometimes noted when patients are due for their professional dental cleaning.  Although the exact science is unknown, hydrodynamics may be at play.  Hydrodynamics refers to fluid mechanics, which deals with osmosis and osmotic pressures.  Like all cells in your body, your teeth also contain water.  In the presence of sugar, the water displaced from the tooth can disturb the nerves inside, which may lead to tooth sensitivity.