What is Tooth Sensitivity? Causes, Prevention and Treatment

Tooth Sensitivity Causes, Prevention and Treatment Options Available for Relieving Sensitivity

What is Tooth Sensitivity? Causes, Prevention and Treatment
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We know which home remedies to use to relieve toothache. But what do in case of sensitivity. Is sensitivity similar to pain? What causes tooth sensitivity to occur and how can we prevent and treat tooth sensitivity. Take a look.

What is Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity, also known as dentin hypersensitivity, is a problem suffered by people of every age group.

One needs to understand that sensitivity and pain are not at all same, both are different experiences.

Sensitivity is the milder version of the pain. It need not necessarily be the cause of a major problem however, it is surely an indication of minor changes happening inside the mouth which can be taken care of by simply keeping the mouth clean and hygienic.

How Tooth Sensitivity Triggers?

  • Eating cold/hot food or drinking cold/hot drinks
  • Eating sugary or sour foods
  • Breathing cold air
  • Brushing teeth
  • Had a history of dental treatment

Causes Behind Tooth Sensitivity

  • Decrease in enamel thickness: Enamel (teeth's surface), that protects our teeth from attacks gets reduced in its thickness leading to dentin exposure. Brushing too hard is major reason for reduced thickness. Dentin consists of nerves which are responsible for all the sensations including pain.
  • Recession of the gums: Old age, infection in the gums, are the reasons for the gum tissue to recede.
  • Acidic drinks: Having high amount of acidic drinks causes dissolution of the enamel thus causing tooth sensitivity. 
  • Teeth grinding: People tend to have a habit of grinding their teeth while sleeping, also know as bruxisim. This leads to attrition of the tooth surface.
  • Take a break from scaling and bleaching procedures. If done more often and more than required leads to wearing off the enamel.
  • Tooth whitening toothpastes: These have more number of abrasives which cause attrition of the teeth in the long run.
  • Mouthwash having alcohol: Using them frequently harms your teeth.

    Instead, use fluoridated mouthwash because the floride provides immunity to general teeth diseases.
  • Dirty teeth: Leads to accumulation of bacteria and help them grow, making the body less immune to fight infections.

NOTE: Do not brush immediately after taking acidic food or drink. Brush after 30 minutes because the acidic food weakens the teeth enamel and brushing soon after makes teeth more vulnerable to sensitivity.


  • Change your brush and the way you do your brushing: Change your brush every 3-4 months of use. Brushing should be done vertically or in circular motion with soft strokes. Spend five minutes , twice a day brushing your teeth. REMEMBER : brushing at night is more important than brushing in the morning. Make sure to brush or use mouth wash specially after having something sweet. 
  • Use fluoridated toothpastes and mouthwash: Regular use for about six months will show results.
  • Have less amount of acidic food and drinks and more of milk, cheese, plain yogurt, fruits and vegetables and sugarless chewing gums.
  • Visit your dentist for preventive procedures like painting the tooth with fluoride varnish or fluoride gel.
  • Use of night guards: for patients having the habit of grinding their teeth at night. Visit your dentist to get your own customized night guard .

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