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Tooth Sensitivity Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Do you experience a sharp pain that then fades when taking your favorite cup of hot coffee? Or maybe the pain happens when you bite into an ice cream? You could be experiencing tooth sensitivity. This is also the case if you experience pain while brushing your teeth. Tooth sensitivity is a problem that affects the tooth through exposed root surfaces. The root is exposed when gum recessions occur or the enamel protecting the teeth wears away. The exposed part called the dentine contains pores that run from the tooth surface to the nerve center. Without the protection of gums or enamel, they are susceptible to any changes in temperatures, certain foods and activity around the teeth.




Tooth sensitivity also known as dentine hypersensitivity is characterized by how your teeth react when certain conditions are introduced to them. If your teeth are sensitive to sweet and acidic foods, physical touch, hot and cold air and drinks, then you are experiencing tooth sensitivity. It is a condition that can come and disappear after a short time.




Causes of tooth sensitivity are varied with the only common denominator being they lead to erosion of the enamel or gum recession.


  • Brushing your teeth aggressively as well as using a hard bristled tooth brush. The nature of your brush and how you brush your teeth can lead to an erosion of the enamel. Get soft bristled brushes and be easy on your brushing.
  • Periodontal disease results in gum recession which exposes the tooth root
  • Gingivitis which results in inflammation and sore gum tissue exposes the tooth root
  • Teeth grinding and swelling especially at night which wears down the enamel
  • Allowing plaque to build up either by having cracked teeth or poor dental care. This wears the tooth enamel while also allowing bacteria to form cavities and expose the inner parts of the tooth.
  • Frequent use of acidic foods which results in erosion of enamel
  • Dental procedures like crown replacements and others many have the short term effect of increasing tooth sensitivity. This usually dissipates in 4 to 6 weeks’ time.
Barrie Dentist
Barrie Dentist



Treatment for tooth sensitivity largely depends on the cause of the condition. Proper diagnosis has to be done to establish the cause so that an effective treatment plan can be set. For more obvious causes like a cavity of gum disease, a Barrie dentist can use a filling or any other form of tooth restoration including cleaning and treating the gum.


  • Fluoride varnish can be applied to exposed areas to strengthening enamel and dentin
  • Fluoride foam and gel can be used and placed in the mouth for 3-5 minutes
  • Bonding agent can also be used to cover the dentin surface and provide protection to the roots to prevent exposure


Home measures can also help you prevent much of the sensitivity by doing the following:


  • Using soft bristled toothbrushes and brushing gently
  • Use desensitized toothpaste to prevent further transmission to the dentine. It should contain fluoride to help strengthen the enamel.
  • Check your diet and food to reduce foods that aggravate your sensitivity
Additional Articles
J Cave
J Cave
12:59 09 Jul 18
We moved to Barrie in 1997 and my family has been coming to Dr. Chapnick since then! We love the whole team and have never had a bad visit! I encourage everyone to come here .
Nikki Stephens
Nikki Stephens
21:37 06 Jun 18
I had such a relaxing experience for a tooth extraction. Super friendly staff. Now today is my son's first consult and he is having a great time in the play area. Highly recommended!
Kayla Lopez
Kayla Lopez
12:37 08 Jun 18
What a fantastic office, the staff are incredibly thoughtful and friendly ❤ And a big thank you to Monique, who was so patient and gentle with my kids, they're actually excited to go to the dentist if they know that shes going to be there. Highly recommend!
Cassandra Mckechnie
Cassandra Mckechnie
15:28 31 May 18
The staff here are always so friendly! I hadn’t been to a dentist in years before coming here. It’s a very stress free environment where you can relax while there.
Nadia Chalmers
Nadia Chalmers
19:04 30 Jan 18
Our daughter was 5 weeks old when she had a frenectomy done at Molson Park Dental and we couldn’t be happier with the experience and end results. The entire team was so friendly and did such a wonderful job keeping me at ease during the procedure. Also, our daughter started nursing 100 times better immediately after the procedure was done. We can’t thank you enough for allowing us to continue our breastfeeding journey pain free and allowing our daughter the ability to nurse efficiently :)
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