Causes of Sensitive Teeth

Dental Health Advice

Do you feel a shooting pain in your teeth when eating or drinking something hot? Does the thought of biting into ice cream or a cold hard apple make you wince? Sensitive teeth can be a burden for many people and can be caused by several things.

What are the causes of sensitive teeth?

There are a number of possible causes of a sensitive tooth or teeth

  1. Dental caries/a dental cavity

Pain after hot, cold, sweet or acidic food and drinks can be a sign of decay with a cavity or hole in the tooth, or a sign of a broken tooth.

2. Dentine hypersensivity

The 2 main causes of dentine hypersensitivity are:

Receding gums, resulting in exposure of the un-protected root surfaces. This can be a result of over-zealous tooth brushing or gum disease. Receding gums are much more common with increasing age, with 80% of people having some gum recession by age 65.

Loss of enamel at the necks of the teeth, commonly caused by over-zealous tooth brushing, often with an abrasive toothbrush &/or toothpaste.

Other less common causes are acid erosion (see section on dental erosion), cracked teeth, tooth grinding and periodontal root debridement in the treatment of gum disease (see section on gum disease).

Other less common causes include smoking tobacco, which can wear down enamel and gum tissue, cracked teeth or grinding of teeth

Are there emergency dental treatments for sensitive teeth?

It is always important to seek advice from a dentist so that the source of the sensitivity can be identified and treated. The 247 Dentist will be able to identify the cause of the sensitivity and can often resolve the issue with a coating or filling. They may also give preventive advice and suggest or prescribe conservative measures ranging from sensitive toothpastes to prescription only toothpastes.

If the sensitivity is left too long before being diagnosed and treated, it can result in loss of teeth in the worst cases. Attending The 247 Dentist promptly can avoid the need for such traumatic treatment.

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