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Top 10 Causes of Sensitive Teeth

Updated on September 5, 2012

Teeth Sensitivtiy Cause

Anyone suffering from sensitive teeth understands just how painful this problem can be and what a huge affect it can have on your day. Sensitivity in your teeth occurs when an underlying layer that is in your teeth becomes exposed from various causes. When the hard enamel isn't covering the nerve center then outside elements can cause you discomfort.

Causes Of Teeth Sensitivity

  • Decay – This occurs primarily from sweets. When the proteins in saliva in your mouth interact with the sugars left on your teeth it creates a bacterial plaque that eats at the enamel of your teeth.
  • Grinding – Clenching or grinding your teeth will wear down your enamel. Many people are unaware they do this in their sleep and it is very common in children.
  • Brushing Hard – Using a hard toothbrush or applying to much pressure when you brush wears down the enamel.

  • Receding Gums – when your gums recede, usually caused by gum disease, the root becomes exposed, increasing sensitivity.

  • Bleaching – Having your teeth bleached causes sensitivity however, it is temporary and will remedy itself.

  • Age – Your teeth become more sensitive when you are between the ages of 25 to 30 years old.

  • Plaque – When plaque builds up on the root your teeth sensitivity increases.

  • Certain Foods – Eating large amounts of acidic foods like certain fruits, tomatoes and pickles can make your teeth sensitive.

  • Cracked Teeth – If you have a crack in your tooth, it begins to fill with bacteria from plaque causing inflammation.

  • Mouthwash – Certain ones contain acids that can do damage to the layer of enamel on your teeth over time.

Combating the Problem

Watching what you eat is not only good for your overall health but for your teeth as well. Avoid foods that contain sugars, yes, this includes carbohydrates as well as food with an abundance of acid in them. Eating them will only continue to escalate the problem

If your sensitivity is caused by grinding then most people find a mouth guard worn at night will alleviate the problem. If your child is complaining about their teeth being sensitive then you may want to observe them sleeping, there is a good chance this is the culprit.

Maintain good oral hygiene and flossing is essential. Flossing gets places your toothbrush simply cannot reach. It is recommended to use a soft or medium bristled toothbrush and brush gently so you don't remove gum tissue. A special toothpaste for sensitivity can be quite helpful. You can even spread a thin layer on the teeth that are causing you pain prior to going to sleep. Be sure to see your doctor regularly for a professional cleaning and be sure to discuss any issue you have of teeth sensitivity with them.

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    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks for sharing tips regarding the causes of teeth sensitivity.

    • theherbivorehippi profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Holly, MI

      Hi Dentistmonica....thanks for your insightful comment!! You are always welcome here. :)

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Nice article! Its really a cool advice. Thanks for for your suggestions.Smile is the best thing for boosting ones confidence.Obviously our smile is the first thing someone will notice and having a beautiful smile can lead to beautiful things.Maintaining a beautiful and healthy smile often requires a lot of work, a person needs to maintain good health habits which will prevent the formation of bacteria which causes tooth decay, cavities and other complications but it doesn't end there, a regular checkup must be performed once every six months. This dental checkup will help remove small portions of food which may be trapped between your teeth, this portions of food cannot be removed by simply flossing and brushing and if you left them there they will start to decompose and will definitely cause bad breath and even gum diseases. One should be aware of all this issues.

      Dentist santa monica

    • theherbivorehippi profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Holly, MI

      Thank you for your comment super star smile!

    • profile image

      super star smile  

      10 years ago

      Its really an informative article.One should be aware of all this basic things.Thanks for sharing your great hub. Everybody is concerned about their healthy smile. The advices are really helpful in order to avoid tooth decay.The step should be taken so that the people need not to have pulled their teeth out in their early age.Always prevention is better than cure.

    • Entourage_007 profile image


      10 years ago from Santa Barbara, CA

      Great hub, lot of good information on tooth sensitivity and remedies that help to alleviate pain. Thanks

    • theherbivorehippi profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Holly, MI

      lol..oh my gosh..I should own stock in Sensodyne. I love it!!

    • billyaustindillon profile image


      10 years ago

      Good article - grinding was my problem - I have used Sensodyne many times over the years :)

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Thumbs up! I have this prob when I bleach too much.

    • theherbivorehippi profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Holly, MI

      I can imagine! My mom says she would want to wake me up sometimes when I was sleeping just so she wouldn't have to listen to me. Luckily I never had to hear myself do it!

    • cashmere profile image


      10 years ago from India

      I'm glad to know that grinding is common in kids. I was beginning to wonder how to make my son stop doing that. It is so irritating to hear it!

    • theherbivorehippi profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Holly, MI

      katiem2- I had no idea about chips! I've never been a chip person so much myself but that is great information to know because MANY people are!

      akirchner - So funny....I tried the mouthguard thing too but it would always end up on my nightstand next to my bed....obviously I would just take it out in my sleep because it was interfering with the grinding. LOL

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      The grinding is the worst for me - in my sleep - I even tried one of those mouth guards you do yourself but then almost choked on it in my sleep - big surprise! Great info though and a crazy problem. I had troubles with my teeth being sensitive with the battery toothbrushes but eventually I got used to it and that actually helped the sensitivity in the long run! Now just the grinding!

    • katiem2 profile image

      Katie McMurray 

      10 years ago from Westerville

      Great HUB! We need all the helpful information we can get with the soaring cost of dentist fees... A dentist once told me that eating crisps or chips caused a lot of damage because they are so hard and people eat them with a fury. I've always been thoughtful as to how I eat... We only get this second set of teeth and they have to last SO long...

      Again, Great HUB :) Peace

    • theherbivorehippi profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Holly, MI

      Mine is from age and grinding. I used to grind my teeth bad when I was young and I still do it when I'm sleeping from time to time and then of course there was the 6 year span I spent on a lot of "teeth grinding" The things our poor bodies survive through! Now I hate to even take an ibuprofen.

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      10 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Yes, you are so right in this great hub, you have a great way of expressing words in your writing style. I know mine is from age, but mostly people don't eat good anymore, their natural vitamin from food is missing in their diets. Thank you once again.


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