Two women with teeth sensitivity brushing teeth

Teeth Sensitivity

Have you ever felt pain or discomfort after eating a scoop of hot soup or a piece of ice cream? If that’s the case, you’re not alone. While pain from hot or cold foods may indicate a cavity, it’s also typical in people who have sensitive teeth.

Tooth sensitivity, also known as “dentin hypersensitivity,” is a condition in which the teeth experience pain or discomfort in reaction to particular stimuli, such as hot or cold temperatures. It can be a momentary or long-term issue, and it can affect one tooth, several teeth, or all of a person’s teeth. It can be caused by a variety of factors, but most cases of sensitive teeth can be resolved with a simple change in your oral hygiene routine.


Tooth sensitivity is characterized by discomfort after eating or drinking something cold. The degree of sensitivity can be minimal, moderate, or severe, and the pain can come on unexpectedly.

Some patients with dental sensitivity experience pain during brushing or flossing, so it’s critical to identify the cause and begin treatment as soon as possible. Pain while brushing or flossing can indicate a lack of oral care. This can lead to more serious dental issues like gum disease and cavities.


Make an appointment with your dentist if you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity for the first time. Using our Healthline service, you can schedule an appointment with a dentist in your region. They can examine the condition of your teeth and search for issues such as cavities, loose fillings, or receding gums that could be causing the sensitivity.

This is something your dentist can accomplish during a basic dental cleaning. They’ll clean your teeth and visually inspect them. They may feel your teeth for sensitivity with dental devices, and they may also order an X-ray to rule out cavities.


You can try over-the-counter dental remedies if your tooth sensitivity is minor.

  • Select toothpaste that is specifically formulated for sensitive teeth. These toothpastes will not have any irritating components and may contain desensitizing compounds that help prevent pain from reaching the tooth’s nerve.
  • When it comes to mouthwash, an alcohol-free mouthwash is preferable because it is less irritating to sensitive teeth.
  • Brushing more softly and with softer toothbrushes can also help. Soft toothbrushes will be clearly marked.

These cures usually require multiple applications to be effective. Within a week, you should see a difference.

Procedures in dentistry

Tooth sensitivity can also be reduced with some dental procedures. Your doctor may use a specific resin to cover sensitive, exposed dentin and relieve your discomfort if you have exposed nerve endings. If you have gum disease and gum recession, a surgical gum transplant can also protect or conceal exposed roots.

Gum grafts relieve discomfort by transplanting gum tissue from another portion of the mouth to an exposed area. Filling a cavity or conducting a root canal to remove decay or infection from inside a problem tooth can also relieve sensitivity.




West, N., Seong, J., & Davies, M. (2014). Dentine hypersensitivity. Monographs in oral science25, 108–122. https://doi.org/10.1159/000360749
West, N. X., Lussi, A., Seong, J., & Hellwig, E. (2013). Dentin hypersensitivity: pain mechanisms and aetiology of exposed cervical dentin. Clinical oral investigations17 Suppl 1, S9–S19. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00784-012-0887-x
Clark, D., & Levin, L. (2016). Non-surgical management of tooth hypersensitivity. International dental journal66(5), 249–256. https://doi.org/10.1111/idj.12247
Swift E. J., Jr (2005). Tooth sensitivity and whitening. Compendium of continuing education in dentistry (Jamesburg, N.J. : 1995)26(9 Suppl 3), 4–23.