Blog Post

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

May 15, 2017

If your teeth feel somewhat raw or tender, tooth sensitivity can be to blame. People can experience tooth sensitivity for a number of reasons. You might experience tooth pain or sensitivity which will manifest itself after you eat hot or cold foods, or foods high in acidity or sugar. NYC Endodontics will break down some of the reasons you might be experiencing tooth sensitivity and also offer a few tips on how to deal with it.

Overzealous Brushing

One reason you might run into tooth sensitivity might be in the way you’re brushing. You could be brushing with too much force. Make sure you also check to make sure that you’re not using a hard bristle, because that can wear down both the protective layering of your teeth and also your gums, resulting in receding gum line. This protective layer of your teeth shields bacteria and acids from entering tiny tubes and canals that lead to dental nerves. These same tubes and canals being bombarded by foods of extreme temperature, acidity, or stickiness are what result in tooth sensitivity and discomfort. Switch to a toothbrush with soft bristles, perhaps even invest in an electronic toothbrush in order to regulate and automate force.

Acidic Foods

Foods high in acidity are going to trigger tooth sensitivity as well. Foods like tomato sauce, lemon, grapefruit, kiwi, even pickles can cause discomfort and pain. Pathways
to your dental nerves can be exposed, in such cases it’s best to simply avoid foods high in acidity. It may cause some discomfort in a new lifestyle change, but you will be in a lot less pain as a result.

Teeth Grinding

If you grind your teeth, you can certainly be more susceptible to sensitive teeth. Even though your tooth enamel is the strongest substance of your body, when you grind your teeth it can wear down the enamel. This will expose your dentin, which is the middle layer of your tooth. This middle layer contains the hollow tubes that ultimately lead to your dental nerves. Mouth guards can help guard your teeth, if you tend to grind your teeth while sleeping.

Tooth Whitening

Your tooth whitening paste could also be contributing to your tooth sensitivity. There are many manufacturers that will add harsh chemicals that will work to whiten your teeth, but they will also trigger your tooth sensitivity. If your toothpaste contains a whitening agent and you’re feeling discomfort, consider switching to a toothpaste that doesn’t have a whitening agent.


Tooth sensitivity can also be triggered if you’re over-using mouthwash. Alcohol and other harsh chemicals (including whitening agents in some mouthwashes that claim to also whiten teeth), amplifying the effects if your dentin is already exposed. Use a more neutral fluoride rinse. You could also do away with mouthwash altogether, if you’re comfortable. By making up for lack of mouthwash with great, consistent brushing and flossing habits, you won’t notice a difference and neither will your dentist.

Gum Disease

Gum disease or receding gum line can also increase your mouth’s sensitivity. Your gums are more prone to recession as you age, especially if you haven’t kept up so well with your oral health. Sealants might be a good strategy if you have a problem with gingivitis or receding gum line. Talk to your dentist and take the measures to secure your oral health today.

Root Canals

If you’ve recently had a root canal with New York City Endodontics, you might also experience some tooth sensitivity. Root canals, tooth extractions, and crown placements can all increase sensitivity and discomfort. Symptoms in these cases should disappear after a short time. If they don’t, contact NYC Endodontics today and we can help.

Cracked Teeth

Cracked teeth can also lead to tooth sensitivity. This would be another case where NYC Endodontics can help you directly, because we specialize in cracked teeth, fractured cusp, split tooth, and vertical root fractures. The main point here is that if you’re in pain, you don’t have to suffer. You can take these measures listed above to decrease discomfort and give yourself the best shot possible at a life of good oral health. Of course, if your discomfort and tooth sensitivity persist, contact NYC Endodontics today.