Gina Liggio Maestri, DDS

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What is Tooth Sensitivity

Hannah Johnson - Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - 

What is Tooth Sensitivity?

Ever wondered why you feel a painful sting in your teeth when eating or drinking something hot or acidic, biting into something cold, chewing on some ice, or enjoying a frozen treat? The answer to your question may be tooth sensitivity.

Tooth sensitivity is when a person experiences a sharp pain in their teeth when they consume hot, cold, sweet, or very acidic foods or drinks; even breathing in cold air can trigger tooth sensitivity. This is a common problem affecting more than half of the world’s population.

What causes tooth sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity is usually caused by dentin, the bulk of a tooth beneath the enamel, that is exposed due to receded gums. If your tooth’s dentin is exposed, then you will most likely experience that shock of pain when the dentin comes in contact with something hot, cold, or acidic. Exposed tooth roots are not protected by enamel like the rest of your teeth, but are protected by soft tissue. Once this soft tissue is lost, usually by hard brushing or harsh toothpaste, the dentin is exposed.

If you are experiencing tooth pain and think you may have sensitive teeth, let your dentist know so they can examine the problem and help choose the best treatment for your problem.

Is tooth sensitivity preventable?

Tooth sensitivity is not 100% preventable; however, you can reduce your chances of getting tooth sensitivity by keeping your mouth as healthy as possible with good oral hygiene. Brushing low abrasion toothpaste and flossing properly can help reduce your chances of developing tooth sensitivity. Another tip to help reduce tooth sensitivity is maintaining a non-acidic diet.

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