Sensitive Teeth: Causes, Symptoms And More

 Tooth Sensitivity 

Having a tooth that’s sensitive to cold or having many teeth in the mouth sensitive to sometimes even air, can be annoying and perhaps quite painful. We get asked many Sensitive Tooth Problem Questions Online at DentalChat. People having Teeth Sensitivity is a common dental problem. Many people experience multiple sensitive teeth or tooth sensitivity, and Ask Dentists for Local Dental Answers on how to best treat this local dental teeth pain problem.

Tooth Sensitivity

Emergency tooth pain questions from sensitive teeth happen quite frequently with us at DentalChat - we do answer local toothache questions online. As we stated, just in the US alone, there are millions of people having this dental problem. Sensitive Teeth Question asked to a local dentist or in a local dental office, will go something like, "My teeth are sensitive to cold and ice cream." The patient will state how any time they eat ice cream or have a cold drink, they experience serious pain in their mouth. 

It is estimated that over 10% of people have some form of teeth sensitivity. Interestingly enough, many times people do not share with other people or even their dentist. Some people think that having a few sensitive teeth or a sensitive tooth is okay. 

Why are my teeth sensitive and how can I fix it? 

There are many worse dental conditions than sensitive teeth, but as a precursor to some of the worst dental issues - teeth sensitivity pain is a sign of perhaps other underlying teeth problems. Having teeth or tooth sensitivity can be a general annoyance and a potential source of extreme pain.  Sensitive teeth can be a painful problem, as well as a sign that you may be having a gum recession going on. 


In the US alone, it is estimated over 20 million people have some sort of tooth or teeth sensitivity. When the root portion of teeth is exposed either through gum recession, gum disease or by brushing very aggressively - people can experience tooth pain at any time.  Just by simply having a somewhat cold glass of water, can trigger a toothache. 

Whether it's sensitivity to contact, heat or cold, sensitive teeth are often a sign of other potential issues. Sensitive teeth can be caused by enamel damage, chipping a tooth, or having a cavity. All of these mean that sensitive teeth are more than enough reason to visit the dentist. You can also speak with a dentist in our live chat at DentalChat, where you can ask emergency dentistry questions and receive personalized dental care answers for your dental ailment. 

Science of Tooth Anatomy

Understanding the different layers of the tooth can allow the person to understand more about why they are having a sensitive tooth. The science of tooth sensitivity and teeth sensitivity is important. The enamel is the outer layer of the tooth. It is highly mineralized. Under it is the tooth dentin. Protecting the outer layer enamel is important since the dentin layer of the tooth under it has tiny microscopic tubules that lead to the pulp nerve. 

Hence, if the enamel is worn down or removed - the person will usually have much more sensitive teeth. This dentin layer is much more sensitive since the dentinal tubules inside of the dentin layer relay heat and cold sensation back to the pulp nerve area of the tooth. Any time you have dentin exposed or dentin drilled away to remove caries, then you can have tooth sensitivity. We will discuss this further in this sensitive tooth dental blog. 

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Health is a combination of all the body’s parts working efficiently as a team. Pain in any part of the body makes the whole body suffer. We are prone to infections at every level of our daily life. Our oral cavity and mouth area are home for microbial flora that has millions of microbes. These microbes can easily cause dental anomalies and other health infections and complications. 

One of the major complications with teeth when having toothaches and tooth sensitivity can trigger a lot of discomfort. Pain in the teeth can make you suffer badly. Let’s have a look at that in detail: 

What is teeth sensitivity? 


The common sensitivity dentistry question we get asked is, what is teeth sensitivity? Another sensitive tooth question is, why do I have sensitive teeth? Teeth sensitivity is an anomaly of the teeth that occur due to the damaged enamel and roots of the gums. The enamel gets broken when you are having unhealthy eating habits such as eating hot and cold foods one after the other. The nerve endings of the teeth are exposed to the surface hence generating pain and uneasiness whenever you eat anything hot or cold. 

What are some of the Causes of Teeth Sensitivity?

Some of the main causes of tooth sensitivity or sensitive teeth are listed below: 

Using a hard toothbrush can damage your enamel. Having worn out enamel may cause tooth sensitivity. If the outer layer of the tooth or teeth is worn away, the underlying dentin is exposed and much more sensitive to cold and air. 

Acid foods and drinks also damage the enamel to a great extent. Taking too much soda, colas, and spicy foods will lead to teeth sensitivity. 

Stress can lead to nervous and involuntary habits in some individuals and one of them is grinding your teeth. Excessive grinding can lead to damaged and worn out enamel. 

Gum disease and exposed root of the tooth are also a leading cause of sensitivity. 

Fractured teeth fillings, broken tooth restoration, and worn-out fillings can also lead to tooth sensitivity. 

Gastrointestinal reflux disease can cause acidic reflux from the stomach. This acidic reflux back into the mouth may cause damage to the teeth. Bulimia is also one of the causes of teeth sensitivity. 

Symptoms Of Sensitive Tooth 

Symptoms Of Sensitive Tooth

Generalized pain in the teeth and jaws are the main symptoms. You might feel a kind of uneasiness and electric shock when drinking hot or cold drinks, or when eating a cold food such as ice cream. 

Bleeding and swollen gums are also among the symptoms. 

How to cure teeth sensitivity - Usage of desensitized kinds of toothpaste

Several brands of medicated toothpaste are available in the market that prevents the sensitivity of the tooth. The main ingredient in these pastes is potassium nitrate. The dentists also prescribe fluoride toothpaste. 

Use soft bristle brush: 

The thing with brushes is that the way you use them is very important. The type of toothbrush is also quite important. Try to brush your teeth softly. Don’t get harsh while brushing or you will hurt your teeth and gums. Also, use a soft toothbrush if possible.  Make sure every couple of months or so, to change your toothbrush.

Avoid acidic foods: 

Food is something that you can control while eating. Try not to eat too many acidic foods since it will only elevate the pain and suffering. Opt for yogurt, milk, butter, and fruit juices instead of beverages, spicy food, and pickles. 

Dental applications: 

If you are not having a good time with the above remedies, you can ask your dentist to do a covering of paint, varnish or resin over your teeth, which will provide services as an enamel shield. 

Other dental procedures that could be done include: 

Crowning or bonding 

Surgical gum graft 

A Root Canal is an ultimate and last treatment for teeth sensitivity 

When root canal treatment is done, the tooth that is causing tooth pain and is sensitive to cold - is root canaled. During root canal therapy (RCT), the tooth nerve or pulp canal is removed and is filled in. If root canal treatment is done properly, then no more pain from cold drink or cold air should happen to that tooth. The patient may still have other teeth that may be causing the teeth sensitivity though. 

Protecting the tooth enamel

Many people feel if they brush very, very hard - they can remove the yellow stains or make their teeth whiter. By tooth brushing very hard, a person can seriously damage their teeth. Also, using very hard toothbrushes can cause damage to the teeth. The enamel protects the tooth and is a relatively thin layer. If the enamel is brushed away, then the underlying dentin tooth structure is much more sensitive - since it is more vital. 

 Treatment of a sensitive tooth with a composite filling

What is a white filling? 

Composite fillings are known by many people as white fillings. The dental composite filling is a type of tooth restoration, that is used to fill in a prepped tooth cavity. That is, first the cavity is drilled out by the dentist and the tooth is filled with some form of composite filling.

This composite white filling has an adhesive or resin that is used to fill in the cavity. Since it is an adhesive, it helps to protect the underneath portion of the tooth. It can be done for the front or back of the teeth. These composite fillings can look fairly natural. It is a bit costly as compared to amalgam fillings. 

Composite fillings are the restoration of choice for most dentists now, as compared to 40 years ago - when most molars were filled using amalgam. 

They are more versatile in dealing with broken, fractured, and worn-out teeth. You must visit your dentist regularly, keep flossing and brushing regularly - to keep your filling safe. From time to time, composite fillings may need to be repaired, the composite filling may fall out or need to be changed. We get asked many composite filling dental questions. A common composite dental filling question is, how long should my composite filling last on my front teeth?

Using some form of composite filling to an area where some enamel layer of the tooth has been removed, is a common way of treating enamel wear.  Of course, sometimes this composite filling placed onto usually the facial part of the tooth does not last long. If the patient brushes very hard, it is possible for this composite filling material to come out.  The dental composite filling answer to that composite filling dentistry question is simple.  If you as the patient are very aggressive in brushing your facial composite filling, then they may possibly come out sooner than later. That is, use proper brushing and take care, so as to not have the filling come out easily.

Dental Veneers and Dental Crowns 

Dental Crowns

For people with severe enamel wear of their front teeth, sometimes your local dentist may recommend dental veneers or possibly dental crowns.  Dental veneers goes onto the facial surface of the tooth.  It has many cosmetic dental benefits for the patient as well - if done well. 

We get asked many Dental Veneer Questions at DentalChat.  Common dental veneer question is, why does my dentist want to place dental veneers on all of my front teeth?  Usually, your dentist may want to provide more whiter teeth look.  Doing only a single tooth white, and leaving the others more yellowish - is usually not a good look.

Do you want to use our TeleDentistry Question form or Ask Dental Questions about Sensitive Teeth? Post your sensitive toothache question at

Root Canal  For a Sensitive Tooth

Sometimes the pulp nerve area of a tooth will have constant pain. Even after placing a composite filling, etc.  Then, your local dentist after taking dental x-rays - may recommend doing root canal therapy.  By doing a root canal on the tooth (if done correctly), the sensitivity should completely diminish - on that tooth. 


In this local dental article - we covered tooth sensitivity, teeth being sensitive to cold, teeth sensitivity to air, how to cure sensitive teeth, what to do about sensitive teeth, composite fillings blog, and more. Composite Fillings are used by many dentists in areas that have some of the enamel layers missing on the facial surface of the tooth.

Teeth Sensitivity To Cold and Teeth Sensitive Pain When Eating cold foods, are among many other online dental topics we cover at DentalChat.

You can ask local dentists live dentist chat questions about these topics at DentalChat. Use Teledentistry Dental Consult or Live Dental Chat with Best Dentists - our goal is to provide more dental information for our users. The more you are about how to maintain better oral hygiene and how to take care of your teeth, the better you can keep your teeth.  Going to your local dentist for regular dental checkups and dental prophy cleaning is very important.