Ask a Dentist

October 25, 2023

Q: Why Are My Teeth Getting More And More Sensitive?

It’s pretty common to experience a toothache once in a while, especially when you eat something cold like ice cream! But if your teeth are more and more consistently sensitive, it’s time to see your dentist.  

We’ve previously talked about the basics of why your teeth might be sensitive (hint: it has to do with your dentin). But let’s explore some of the common, every day causes of sensitive teeth and what to do if you notice it becoming a problem.  

Tooth Sensitivity Basics

Tooth sensitivity occurs when your tooth enamel is thinned or broken, making it sensitive to exposure of extreme temperatures or acidity. The enamel is what protects your tooth, so once it’s worn down or destroyed, you’ll be more prone to sensitivity, discomfort and pain. The more damage done to your enamel, the more likely you’ll be developing a full-blown toothache.

Causes Of Tooth Sensitivity

There are many reasons your teeth may feel sensitive or achy and some are more serious than others. For example, many people feel mild tooth sensitivity when they eat or drink foods that are particularly hot, cold, sweet or acidic. But what is actually damaging the tooth enamel?

These are some other causes of tooth sensitivity:  

  • Chipped or fractured teeth, usually caused from biting hard objects (food or otherwise)
  • Cavities
  • Exposed roots from a broken tooth, gum disease or receding gum lines
  • Orthodontics and fillings as your teeth and mouth get used to the changes that have happened from the dental treatment
  • Teeth grinding and clenching during sleep or high stress situations
  • Brushing or flossing too hard  
  • Using a medium or hard-bristled toothbrush instead of soft bristles
  • Alcohol-based mouthwashes  
  • High acidic diet
  • Plaque buildup
  • Weakened or fractured fillings

Treating Tooth Sensitivity

Don’t let that list scare you. Everyone is different, which is why there are so many reasons why you could have sensitive teeth. With a visit to the dentist, we’ll work with you to find the underlying cause and put together a plan of action to reduce your tooth sensitivity.  

If the sensitivity is mild, try making the switch to a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth, alcohol-free mouthwash or even softer-bristled toothbrushes. These are small changes that could make a difference over time. Remin toothpaste, which is available at our clinics, is formulated to decrease tooth sensitivity by blocking the tiny tubules of the teeth that stimulate sensitive teeth. OptiRinse, also available at our clinics, is an alcohol-free mouthwash that soothes irritated tissues and rebuilds tooth enamel.

Regardless if it’s mild sensitivity or more severe, book an appointment with your dentist and they’ll help you find a solution. Feel free to book an appointment at one of our clinics, conveniently located in Garden City Shopping Centre and St. Vital Centre. We will do our best to assess your symptoms and help you on your journey to less sensitive teeth.  

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Maybe it's time for your and your family's regular checkup and cleaning, you have a toothache or you need to get your treatment plan going - whatever the reason, we're here to help you get your confident smile. Whether you're a new patient or a returning friend, we can't wait to see you at your next appointment at either of our Winnipeg clinics!

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