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300 Wellington Street East, Aurora, ON L4G 1J5 I (905) 727-7043

Why Are My Teeth So Sensitive?

April 09, 2019
sensitive teeth


Do you have pain in your teeth when you breathe in cold air? What about when you eat something cold, like ice cream? It’s not a nice feeling- all mouth pain is unpleasant.

I get asked all the time by my patients about tooth sensitivity. People want to know if the discomfort is normal, or if it’s something to worry about. Truthfully, this type of sensitivity and its causes can only be properly diagnosed by a dentist. They’re the ones that can tell you if there’s a problem with your teeth.

Ahead of that, however, it’s useful to know what you’re up against, symptom-wise.

Sensitive Teeth - Temperature

Most of us at some point in our lives have felt sensitivity in our teeth to cold air and different temperatures in the mouth. Biting into ice cream, or drinking ice water, for example, tends to bother most people at one time or another.

So what’s the problem? Is there anything to be worried about?

The best way to think about it is to ask yourself a few thing questions:

- Is there a particular tooth that consistently hurts every time you eat or drink, or is the sensitivity throughout your mouth?
- How bad is the sensitivity? Are you avoiding eating any cold temperature foods all together?
- Are your teeth sensitive to heat, too?
- How long does the sensitivity last? Does it go away immediately? Does it linger in your mouth for a few minutes? Does it turn into a dull ache?

General sensitivity to temperature can be caused by a range of factors, from exposed roots due to recession, to heavy grinding or a bad bite causing trauma to the teeth.

The important takeaway is that any persistent sensitivity, especially to the point where you’re skipping certain foods to avoid the pain, is not a normal thing.

Sensitive Teeth - Biting

Along with temperature, some of us report sensitivity while chewing harder things like nuts and grains. Tenderness in the the teeth while biting, or the feeling of a sharp, shooting pain, may be caused by a small crack or fracture in the tooth.

You might think to yourself, “This is manageable, I’ll just avoid chewing hard things,”or “I’ll just have to avoid chewing on the one side of my mouth.”

Not good. The point of having teeth is to chew and eat your food without problems.

Tooth Sensitivity - Think Prevention

In my view, prevention is the key. There are a number of preventative treatments a dentist can perform based on the severity of the situation. Cracks in teeth, for example, are easily treated if caught early enough. If left too long the treatment becomes more difficult and time consuming.

My advice: don’t wait until the pain is so great that you’re steering clear of certain foods or areas of your mouth. Food and drink is there to be enjoyed, not avoided.

If you’re experiencing any of the tooth sensitivity symptoms mentioned in this article, get in touch with our office to make an appointment. We’ll work together to take the proper steps to address your pain. Call us at 905.727.7043, or email us at info@wellingtonauroradental.com


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