woman suffering from tooth sensitivity

Top Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

If you find yourself avoiding cold beverages or cringing at the thought of flossing you might have tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity can make everyday living a nightmare. Finding the source of your sensitivity is the first step to rectifying it.

Below are some of the top reasons for tooth sensitivity and how you can finally get some relief.

Extra Vigorous Brushing

We would never want to discourage daily brushing, but many people brush much harder than necessary. You should brush your teeth gently for two minutes twice daily. If your gums hurt after or during you are probably using too much force. In addition, it is always a good idea to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months or if the bristles are fraying. If you are still experiencing pain when brushing try switching to a toothbrush with softer bristles.

Acidic Foods

Everyone’s teeth are different and will have varied tolerance to acidity in their food. Frequently eating foods high in acidity could lead to wearing down of the enamel. Without that enamel layer, your tooth’s nerves are exposed. If you experience a lot of tooth sensitivity while eating- try altering your diet. Avoiding foods like grapefruit, tomato juice and lemon may help to ease your discomfort.


Grinding your teeth is one of the worst things you can do for your enamel. Most grinders commit the act subconsciously in their sleep making it hard to stop. The best solution for you is to invest in a mouthguard to wear at night. Mouthguards are safest, most effective and most comfortable if custom made to fit your smile.

Tooth Whitening Toothpaste

Some over the counter whitening toothpastes contain harsh chemicals that might be leading to your tooth sensitivity. If you are an avid whitener try switching kinds of toothpaste or talk to your dentist about safer ways to whiten from home.

Mouthwash Fiend

Mouthwash can be a great way to fight against plaque buildup, but overuse might be wearing down your teeth. Made to fight oral bacteria, mouthwash commonly contains alcohol. The alcohol is great for killing unwanted toxins but can be detrimental to your enamel if used too frequently. Try using a neutral fluoride rinse or simply reduce how often you swish.

Gum Disease

Tooth sensitivity could be a sign that you are developing gum disease. Gum disease will cause your gum line to recede increasing sensitivity. If you think this applies to you contact your dentist and schedule an exam.

Poor Oral Hygiene

I know, I know, brushing too much AND brushing too little are both causes of tooth sensitivity. Even in the early stages, tooth decay weakens the enamel.  If you’re not brushing enough you could develop a buildup of plaque which (surprise surprise) will break down your enamel. This then exposes the nerves of the tooth to be sensitive to the elements. The best treatment for this is to ensure you are brushing twice daily, flossing, and visiting your dentist at least bi-annually.

Recent Dental Procedure

It’s no surprise that following a big dental procedure you may experience some sensitivity. This is most common after receiving a root canal, and extraction, or a crown placement. If the sensitivity persists contact your dentist.

Cracked Tooth

If your pain is localized and more painful than normal sensitivities you might have a cracked tooth. Have it examined by a dentist as soon as possible.

Worn Out Filling

Over time fillings can start to decay leaving your tooth unprotected. Most of the time fillings can be easily replaced. Let your dentist know if this could be the case for you.


Last but not least, your sensitivity could be caused by something as simple as a cavity. Cavities are very easily treated. Schedule an appointment and you will have it cleared up in no time.

Tooth sensitivity can be downright obnoxious. Don’t sit and suffer. Try these solutions and see what works for you. If you experience persistent sensitivity and nothing you try seems to do the trick, contact Eagle Rock Dental Care in Rexburg for an exam. Or you can always schedule an appointment online!


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