The Basics of Tooth Sensitivity and Some of Its Main Causes

Dentin hypersensitivity is when your teeth hurt in response to certain stimuli, like hot or cold drinks. There are lots of reasons your teeth might be sensitive, but the two most common are when you have worn down your tooth enamel or when your tooth roots are exposed. This pain can be anything from slight discomfort to severe pain that lasts for a significant amount of time.

The Main Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

The reason for sensitive teeth can be difficult to figure out. Some people are born with sensitive teeth because they have thinner enamel. However, there are other causes of tooth sensitivity, such as:

1. Aggressive Brushing

Aggressive brushing or using the wrong toothbrush can wear down the enamel on your teeth. This can make your teeth more sensitive than they normally would be. In order to help prevent your teeth from getting more sensitive, make sure you brush your teeth gently in small circular motions. You may want to purchase a soft-bristled toothbrush.

These toothbrushes are designed to be gentle on your teeth and gums and will help to prevent your teeth from getting more sensitive.

2. Acidic Foods and Drinks

Eating and drinking acidic foods and drinks can also make your teeth sensitive. Acidic foods include citrus fruits, juices, tomatoes, pickles, and vinegar. These foods can cause your teeth to become sensitive by wearing away at the enamel. Enamel is the hard, outer layer of your teeth that protects them from decay.

When it becomes worn away, your teeth are more likely to be sensitive to hot, cold, sweet, or sour foods and drinks.

3. Grinding or Clenching Your Teeth

Teeth grinding or clenching is a common cause of sensitive teeth. This condition, also known as bruxism, is when you grind or clench your teeth together during the day. This can result in your teeth becoming more sensitive to hot and cold foods and more prone to tooth decay and tooth breakage.

To help relieve the pain caused by your sensitive teeth, you can try wearing a mouthguard at night. This will help reduce the amount of tooth grinding currently happening.

4. Receding Gums

Your teeth may be sensitive because your gums no longer cover them. This is usually the case when your teeth have been worn down, and the enamel layer is showing, which is known as tooth sensitivity. When your gums recede, it exposes the root of your tooth, which is much more sensitive than the enamel.

This can cause a sharp, sudden pain when you eat or drink something hot or cold. It can also make your teeth feel more sensitive to sweet, sticky, or acidic foods.

5. Too Much Mouthwash

Using too much mouthwash, like Listerine, can also contribute to tooth sensitivity. This is because these mouthwashes can cause your teeth to become dry, which in turn makes them more sensitive to the cold and hot foods you eat and drink.


As you can see, there are a number of ways that your teeth can become sensitive. Now that you know some potential reasons for your teeth being sensitive, you can try to resolve the problem. One way to do this is to stick to a good, daily oral care routine that keeps your teeth clean and healthy.

By reducing the bacteria in your mouth, you can also help to reduce the chance of tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems.

If you’re looking for experienced dentists in Framingham, MA, look no further than our experts here at Comfort Dental Of Framingham. We offer a wide range of services that are sure to bring out the charm of your pearly whites. Call us today to book your first dental appointment with us.