What is Tooth Sensitivity

What is Tooth Sensitivity?
What is Tooth Sensitivity?
Close-up of young man touching his face and closing eyes with expression of horrible suffer from toothache or aching tooth isolated on white background

Tooth sensitivity, also known as dentin hypersensitivity or root sensitivity, occurs when hot, cold, sweet, or highly acidic foods or beverages are consumed, resulting in discomfort.

Is it Common?

Tooth sensitivity is a widespread issue, affecting roughly half of the population. It can be intermittent, with symptoms coming and going over time.

What are the Causes?

There are various factors that can lead to tooth sensitivity:

Brushing Too Hard

Aggressive brushing or using bristles that are too hard can wear down the protective layers of the teeth, exposing microscopic hollow tubes or canals that lead to the dental nerves. This exposure can cause sensitivity and discomfort when exposed to hot, cold, acidic, or sticky foods.

Consumption of Acidic Foods

Acidic foods such as tomato sauce, lemon, grapefruit, kiwi, and pickles can exacerbate tooth sensitivity when the pathways to the nerves are exposed.

Tooth Grinding

Regular teeth grinding can wear down the enamel, the strongest substance in the body, leading to exposure of the dentin, which contains hollow tubes that connect to the nerves.

Tooth Whitening Products

Chemicals present in tooth-whitening toothpaste can increase tooth sensitivity compared to regular toothpaste.

Gum Disease

As gums recede with age or due to gum disease like gingivitis, tooth sensitivity can arise. Seating the teeth may be necessary in such cases.