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4 Causes of Sensitive Teeth

If you have had sensitive teeth lately, there could be quite a few causes. Here are four causes of sensitive teeth.

Common causes of sensitive teeth

1. Teeth grinding

Tooth enamel is a thin mineral substance layer over the teeth that protects them from tooth decay. The loss of this layer is often one of the main reasons for tooth sensitivity. Grinding the teeth over long periods of time causes the erosion of enamel, leading to sensitivity. Extreme causes of grinding can even lead to the wearing down of the teeth, exposing the middle layer of the teeth that are full of nerves.

2. Acidic foods and drinks

Certain foods and drinks can also contribute to the loss of the enamel layer. These foods can be but are not limited to citrus fruits, orange juice, tomatoes and sports drinks. Too much sugar can also break down enamel so it is important to monitor your intake for foods and drinks high in sugar content.

Hot and cold foods and drinks may trigger the sensitivity but don’t necessarily contribute to the enamel layer loss, so be sure to inspect your diet closely.


Certain diseases can also lead to enamel loss. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is one of these conditions, as well as garden variety heartburn or acid reflux. As acid is continually brought up from the stomach and esophagus to the mouth, it wears down the enamel layer causing sensitive teeth, bad breath and tooth erosion.

4. Gum Disease

Gum disease is another condition that causes sensitive teeth. As plaque and tartar settle in, the gums become infected, exposing nerves and triggering the tooth sensitivity. Gum recession is also a common part of aging and sensitive teeth come along with the recession.

How are sensitive teeth treated?

The treatment for sensitive teeth varies depending on the cause and going to your dentist is the first step in finding the right treatment.

If teeth grinding is what ails you, the dentist can prescribe a retainer for the grinding. Diet changes and monitoring is another intervention. You may be advised to avoid foods with intense temperatures, or anything high in sugar.

In cases of a condition such as GERD, there are medications that can decrease the symptoms and acid levels to help prevent the enamel breakdown.

Gum disease can also be treated at the dentist. Certain treatments can be done in-house and with extensive cleaning and followed up with antibiotics. Finally, specific kinds of toothpaste are also an option in treating sensitivity.

The bottom line

Sensitive teeth, while they can be painful and annoying, are able to be treated once the source is discovered. It’s important to monitor what causes the sensitivity and following up with your dentist to discover the base cause. While enamel can’t grow back, the sensitivity can be treated.

So, stop living with unnecessary discomfort and contact a dental professional immediately. They will be able to help you diagnose and treat any issues that may be present.

Request an appointment here: or call Dragonfly Dental of Port Charlotte at (941) 893-4240 for an appointment in our Port Charlotte office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Periodontics.

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