Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth Sensitivity

When I eat food, drink water or suck air through my teeth, I feel a sharp pain on my teeth. This pain lasts for a few minutes or can remain for a while. What could be happening?

Features:

  • Brief, sharp, painful sensations in teeth during brushing, flossing, eating hot, cold, sweet, sour or acidic foods.

Causes:

  • exposed dentine layer in the crown or root portion of the tooth
  • dental decay
  • fractured or chipped teeth
  • vigorous tooth brushing, causing abrasion to tooth material near the gum line
  • teeth grinding during sleep leading to fractures of tooth portions near the gum line (abfraction cavities)
  • new fillings or crown and bridgework. Some sensitivity can be expected during the initial periods

Factors that increase your risk:

  • receding gum due to gum disease
  • vigorous tooth brushing
  • excessive chewing of hard foods
  • teeth grinding during sleep (nocturnal bruxism)

Causes:

  • bulimia
  • dry mouth, frequently resulting from radiotherapy to head and neck

Professional treatment options:

  • application of chemical agents to affected areas
  • restoring worn areas with filling materials
  • crowning severely worn teeth