Tooth Sensitivity (Sensitive Teeth)

Tooth sensitivity is a pain affecting one or many teeth, which is stimulated by heat, cold, sweets, or even breathing in cold air.


  • Vigorous brushing; brushing the teeth with excessive force wears away the enamel of teeth and causes tooth sensitivity.
  • Gingival recession; the gum level recedes, due to periodontitis, or even a vigorous brushing, exposing the root and making the tooth sensitive.
  • Gingivitis; an inflammation of the gum that can become less attached, exposing the root.
  • Fracture; a crack or a fracture of a tooth can expose the dentin.
  • Grinding the teeth; bruxism wears down the enamel.
  • Tooth whitening; tooth whitening products can cause a temporary sensitivity to the teeth. The sensitivity disappears once the treatment is finished.
  • Mouthwashes; certain mouthwashes are acidic and long term use of them can wear away the enamel of the tooth.
  • Acidic diet; foods high in acid content, such as soft drinks, citric fruits, or ice-tea, wear away the enamel if consumed excessively.
  • Recent dental treatments, including fillings, or tartar scaling, root canals or crowns, can cause sensitivity to the restored tooth for a few weeks.


  • Maintaining a good oral hygiene by using a proper brushing technique and flossing.
  • Using a toothbrush with soft or ultra-soft bristles.
  • Reducing the consumption of acidic foods.
  • Avoiding grinding the teeth, by wearing a bite splint when needed.
  • Going to the dentist for regular dental exams.


  • Non-acidic mouthwashes containing fluoride.
  • Fillings to cover worn away enamel or the receded root.
  • More severe symptoms or a persistent sensitivity can necessitate other treatments.

Dental and oral problems

  Abfraction Abrasion Abscess Ankylosis Anodontia Attrition Broken fillings Bruxism Candidiasis Canker sore (aphthous ulcer) Cavity Cold sore (oral herpes) Crossbite Denture irritation Denture stomatitis (prosthetic stomatitis) Dry Socket Erosion Fluorosis Gingival hyperplasia Gingival pocket Gingivitis Gum disease Gum recession Halitosis Jaw problems Hyperdontia (supernumerary teeth) Hypocalcification Hypodontia Impacted tooth (tooth impaction) Leukoplakia Lichen planus Malocclusion Micrognathia (micrognathism) Mucocele Oligodontia Oral Cancers Overbite Overjet Pericoronitis Periodontal pocket Periodontitis Plaque Prognathia (prognatism) Resorption Retrognathia (retrognatism) Sensitive teeth Sleep apnea Tartar Tooth discolouration Torus Trismus Ulcer Xerostomia


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Last update: 29th of May 2008.