Causes of Teeth Sensitivity

girl with sensitive teeth looking away

At Mission Hills Family Dental, we always encourage our patients to practice preventive care and to develop good oral hygiene habits. Simple actions like regular brushing, flossing, and a healthy diet go a long way toward keeping your teeth clean and healthy.

Beyond your home care regimen and your regular office visits, you should also know what symptoms to look for that can signal an issue. We pride ourselves on educating our patients about their oral health and informing them about what they should watch for. Our patients often complain about tooth sensitivity, so today we want to talk about why your teeth may be sensitive, and what it means for your health.


Generally, tooth sensitivity occurs when the hard, protective enamel on your tooth wears away. This exposes the nerve endings inside your tooth and causes sensitivity. A common cause of sensitivity comes from using a hard toothbrush and hard grip when brushing. We always recommend our patients use a soft bristle brush to protect their teeth and gums.


Sensitivity can also result from tooth erosion. If you eat tons of highly acid foods and drinks, your protective enamel covering will wear away over time. Changing your diet may help alleviate sensitivity.


Tooth decay can cause extreme sensitivity. To guard against decay, practice good oral hygiene habits and schedule regular visits with Dr. Miller or Dr. Doppenberg.


Do you grind your teeth at night? If so, this wear and tear on your teeth can contribute to your sensitivity. We may recommend wearing a mouthguard while you sleep to limit the damage from grinding.

Treating Sensitivity

During your next visit to our office, describe your tooth sensitivity including when you noticed it, the severity, and whether you’ve noticed that anything helps – or makes it worse. Sensitivity can indicate several dental issues, but only your dentist can diagnose your pain. In some cases where there is no obvious cause for painful sensitivity, we can prescribe a fluoride gel or desensitizing toothpaste to alleviate your pain. If you’re experiencing extreme sensitivity, contact us to schedule an appointment today!

We can help treat tooth sensitivity!

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