Around 40 million Americans are currently experiencing some type of tooth sensitivity, and most of us will have at least one episode of sensitive teeth during our lifetime.

Sensitive teeth can cause significant problems, often triggering dull or sharp pain when eating, drinking or brushing your teeth. You may even find that sucking cold air into your mouth makes your teeth hurt. Sometimes this pain dissipates as quickly as it starts, but sometimes it can last for several hours.

When tooth sensitivity occurs, it is important to check with your dentist to make sure that there isn’t an underlying problem causing your pain. Decay and damage to your teeth can trigger discomfort that is very similar in nature to tooth sensitivity and need to be addressed fairly quickly in order to prevent further complications from occurring.

What causes sensitive teeth?

There are a variety of different things that can cause sensitive teeth. In addition to dental decay that has been left untreated, some of the most reasons
common include:

  • Worn tooth enamel, caused by aggressive brushing and using a hard-bristled toothbrush.

  • Tooth erosion as a result of high levels of consumption of acidic foods and drinks.

  • Leaking fillings and cracks in your teeth that expose the softer and more sensitive inner layers.

  • Gum recession that has left some of the root of your tooth exposed.

  • Grinding your teeth at night.
  • In some instances, the sensitivity might also arise as a side effect of a dental treatment you may have had recently, particularly any teeth whitening, dental crowns, or cavity fillings.

Treatment for sensitive teeth

Fortunately, you don’t have to live with the discomfort of sensitive teeth forever. The first thing you should do is visit your dentist to make sure that there isn’t a more sinister reason for your tooth pain. If there is no obvious underlying cause, there are a few things that you can do to help alleviate your tooth sensitivity.