Tooth Sensitivity Explained

Tooth Sensitivity Explained

Can’t enjoy your favorite ice cream? Can’t drink ice cold water? Or ever had teeth so sensitive even the cold winter air made you cringe? Teeth sensitivity is experienced by most adults at least once. For most of us, it’s a daily occurrence.

Our teeth are formed much like the rest of our body. Our skin has pores, and our teeth having something very similar called tubules. These tubules have fluid flowing through them all the time. If a tubule is open it is more susceptible to temperature changing the fluid flow to the nerve causing our nerves to feel pain.


Our enamel is what covers the tubules. If our enamel starts to demineralize or is thin we will feel more sensitivity. Demineralization is caused by poor oral hygiene and sugar intake. Thin enamel can be caused by clenching, grinding, or enamel erosion. Another main cause of sensitivity is gum recession. Gum recession exposes the root surface which doesn’t have the protection of enamel.


Using a sensitive toothpaste is the first step to treat sensitivity. Newer toothpastes that re-mineralize the teeth are the best ones to choose. They work by blocking the tubules so they are no longer open. This is why you have to continue use of sensitive toothpastes, because it’s like applying lotion to your skin, it doesn’t last forever.

If toothpaste alone isn’t helping you can talk to your dental hygienist or dentist about different de-sensitization treatments, and what might work best for you.

Questions, concerns? Please let me know in the comments below!

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