What is tooth sensitivity?

Posted on in Family

If eating or drinking cold, sweet or very acidic foods and drinks, or breathing in cold air makes a tooth or teeth sensitive or painful, then you have sensitive teeth.

Tooth sensitivity is usually caused when tooth dentin (the layer beneath the enamel) or root areas are exposed due to receded gums or periodontal disease. Exposed tooth roots do not have the hard layer of enamel for protection, like the crowns of your teeth.

Overzealous brushing or abrasive toothpaste as well as a very acidic diet (ex. citrus, pickles, soda) can erode enamel and expose dentin. Bulimia and acid reflux disease can also erode enamel and cause tooth sensitivity.

If you have sensitive teeth, tell your dentist or hygienist and he or she can examine your mouth and help you choose the best treatment.