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Understanding Tooth Sensitivity: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Dr. Junaid Altaf

2 min read

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Tooth sensitivity is a common dental concern affecting millions of people worldwide. It can cause significant discomfort and affect the quality of your life. In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatments for tooth sensitivity. Keep reading to learn more!

What is tooth sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity, also known as dentin hypersensitivity, is a dental condition characterized by sharp, temporary pain or discomfort in one or more teeth when exposed to stimuli such as hot, cold, acidic, or sweet foods and beverages. Sensitive teeth can be problematic to deal with and can make everyday activities such as eating, drinking, and brushing difficult.

Causes of tooth sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is caused by two main reasons:

  1. When the root portion of the tooth is exposed because of gum recession and bone resorption
  2. When the superficial surface of the tooth (enamel) is lost because of caries, chemical or mechanical wear

Here is a list of the common causes of tooth sensitivity:

  • Brushing the teeth too hard
  • Gum disease
  • High consumption of acidic foods and beverages
  • Cracked teeth
  • Frequent grinding of the teeth
  • Gum recession
  • Recent dental procedures (fillings, crowns, dental cleanings, etc.) may cause sensitive teeth
  • Plaque buildup

Tooth sensitivity symptoms

You may experience the following symptoms if you have sensitive teeth:

  • Pain or discomfort when eating acidic or sweet foods and beverages
  • Pain or discomfort when brushing the teeth or flossing
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold foods
  • Sensitivity to breathing in cold air
  • Temporary pain or discomfort that goes away in a while once the stimulus is removed

Treatment options for tooth sensitivity

According to expert dentist Dr. Junaid Altaf, “Tooth sensitivity can be treated by home care in initial stages by improving your brushing technique and using medicated paste which can cover sensitivity. At home use of sodium fluoride paste also helps a lot to cover sensitivity. But in advanced stages, you have to visit a dentist who will treat your teeth and gums to permanently stop this problem.”

Here are some effective treatment options for tooth sensitivity:

  • Fluoride: Fluoride treatments can be effective as they can strengthen the enamel, reduce sensitivity, and provide increased protection against tooth decay. Your dentist can apply fluoride gel or foam to your teeth or prescribe fluoride products for you to use at home.
  • Root Canal: A root canal is a dental procedure that treats an infected tooth by removing inflamed pulp. Your doctor can recommend a root canal if you have significant pain and sensitivity that is resistant to other, less invasive treatments.
  • Gum Grafting: This procedure can help get rid of tooth sensitivity that is caused due to gum recession. During the procedure, healthy gum tissue from another area of the mouth is taken and placed in an area where little or no gum tissue is currently present.
  • Dental Bonding: Dental bonding is a procedure to fix broken, cracked, or chipped teeth. While a cosmetic procedure, it can also help treat dental issues such as sensitivity. It is an affordable procedure and doesn’t cause damage to the enamel.


Tooth sensitivity is a common dental concern that can affect the quality of your life, including your ability to enjoy simple things such as a cold drink or a sweet dessert. However, with a range of treatment options available, it can be controlled and managed effectively.

Additionally, certain lifestyle adjustments such as using a soft-bristled toothbrush, regular brushing and flossing, using a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth such as Sensodyne, as well as avoiding brushing your teeth too hard and limiting the consumption of acidic or sweet foods and drinks can contribute to reduced tooth sensitivity and better oral hygiene.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Junaid Altaf
Dr. Junaid Altaf - Author Dr. Junaid Altaf is a Dentist with 9 years of experience currently practicing at Tooth Care Dental Practice and Implant Centre, Lahore. You can book an in-person appointment or an online video consultation with Dr. Junaid Altaf through oladoc.com or by calling at 04238900939.

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