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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
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Natalia Bradu
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Shamil Shamilov
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Yulia Rebarbar
13:13 26 Apr 17
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Andrew B
Andrew B
13:31 26 Apr 17
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