causes of tooth sensitivityWhat’s triggering your sensitive teeth, and what can you do about it?

Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common patient concerns we address. Before determining ways to lessen discomfort, you may want to consider the symptoms and potential causes of sensitive teeth. 


Over half of the U.S. population is living with undiagnosed tooth sensitivity. If you’re concerned you may have this condition, be on the lookout for these signs of hypersensitive teeth:

  • Sensitivity to temperature
  • Pain when biting or chewing
  • Sensitivity when breathing in air


Tooth sensitivity is a daily occurrence for many patients, and may lead to severe damage if left untreated. Here are a few common causes of sensitive teeth:

Teeth Grinding

Over time, grinding your teeth can cause your dentin (or sensitive layer under the enamel) to become exposed to temperature. Custom mouth guards are one of the most effective treatment options for teeth grinding.

Tooth Decay

Cavities and other dental decay issues expose the dentin in your smile and create added sensitivity. Visit your dentist every six months to prevent further problems with your teeth.

Receding Gums

Receding gums expose the root surfaces of your teeth. To correct this problem, gum disease treatment or a procedure to seal the exposed root surfaces may be required.

Aggressive Brushing

When you brush your teeth too hard, the bristles start to remove protective layers of your teeth. If your teeth are sensitive, you might want to purchase a toothbrush with soft bristles. 

Whitening Toothpastes

Some whitening toothpastes contain agents that damage the enamel and cause tooth sensitivity, so it’s best to avoid using whitening toothpaste daily. Consider professional whitening as a safe option for brightening your smile.

Mouthwashes that are high in alcohol and other chemicals can cause dryness in the mouth that also attributes to oral sensitivity. To avoid discomfort, try neutral fluoride rinses as an alternative.

Acidic Foods & Drinks

Soft drinks, citrus fruits, sparkling water and tomato sauce all contain high acidity causing tooth enamel to wear away. To prevent damage to your smile, avoid regularly consuming acidic food and drinks.

While tooth sensitivity has many causes, you don’t have to suffer with uncomfortable dental pain. Dr. Patel puts your comfort first, taking time to get to know you and identify the root cause of your sensitive teeth.

If your problems persist or sensitivity worsens, please contact us or call 770-321-5558 to speak with us directly. We’re here to help!

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