If you find eating or drinking hot or cold foods and beverages uncomfortable, there is a good chance that you have sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity can also make daily brushing and flossing painful, which can cause you to neglect your oral care.

Tooth sensitivity can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Insufficient tooth enamel
  • Cavities
  • Damaged fillings
  • Teeth that are cracked or otherwise damaged
  • Gum disease
  • Exposed tooth root

A layer of enamel protects the visible parts of your teeth. The roots underneath the gum line are protected by a layer of cementum. Underneath these protective layers is dentin that contains microscopic tubes or canals. When these tubules are exposed, foods and liquids can reach the nerves inside the tooth and cause pain.

Tooth sensitivity can often be prevented by good oral hygiene and regular dental care; however, a dentist can recommend treatments to reduce the sensitivity depending on the cause.