The 5 Most Common Causes of Tooth Sensitivity and How to Treat Them

Tooth sensitivity is a common dental problem that affects millions of people worldwide. It can cause sharp, stabbing pain or mild discomfort when eating or drinking hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and beverages. This unpleasant sensation can make it difficult for individuals to enjoy their favorite treats and even discourage them from maintaining proper oral hygiene.

At East El Paso Dentist, we understand the importance of addressing tooth sensitivity to maintain a healthy smile and improve your overall quality of life. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the five most common causes of tooth sensitivity and provide tips on how to treat them. Keep reading to learn more about how you can alleviate your sensitive teeth and schedule your next dental visit with us today.

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1. Enamel Erosion

Enamel erosion is one of the leading causes of tooth sensitivity. The enamel is the outermost layer of your teeth, and it serves as a protective barrier against external factors like temperature and pressure. When this hard layer wears away, the underlying dentin becomes exposed, making your teeth more susceptible to sensitivity.


To treat enamel erosion, you can:

  • Use a desensitizing toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth
  • Brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Avoid acidic foods and beverages that can further erode your enamel
  • Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and check-ups

2. Gum Recession

Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue surrounding your teeth begins to pull away, exposing the roots of your teeth. This can lead to increased tooth sensitivity since the roots are not protected by enamel and are more sensitive to external stimuli.


To prevent and treat gum recession, consider the following tips:

  • Maintain proper oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid aggressive brushing
  • Quit smoking, as it can contribute to gum disease and recession
  • Visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings to monitor your gum health

3. Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is another common cause of tooth sensitivity. When bacteria in your mouth break down the enamel, cavities can form, exposing the sensitive dentin layer beneath. This can lead to sensitivity, especially when consuming hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks.


To treat tooth decay and prevent further sensitivity, follow these steps:

  • Schedule an appointment with your dentist to have the cavity filled
  • Maintain proper oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen your enamel
  • Limit sugary snacks and beverages that can contribute to tooth decay

4. Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a condition in which you clench or grind your teeth, usually during sleep. Over time, this can lead to the wearing down of your enamel and increased tooth sensitivity.


To alleviate tooth sensitivity caused by teeth grinding, try the following:

  • Speak with your dentist about getting a custom-fit night guard to protect your teeth while you sleep
  • Practice stress-reduction techniques, such as meditation or yoga, since stress can contribute to bruxism
  • Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption, which can increase teeth grinding

5. Dental Procedures

Lastly, tooth sensitivity may be a temporary side effect of certain dental procedures, such as teeth whitening treatments, fillings, or dental crowns. In most cases, this sensitivity should subside within a few days or weeks.


If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity after a dental procedure, consider these tips:

  • Use desensitizing toothpaste to help reduce discomfort
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, to help manage the pain
  • Contact our dental staff if the sensitivity persists or worsens after a few weeks

Schedule Your Next Dental Visit with East El Paso Dentist Today!

If you’re suffering from tooth sensitivity, it’s essential to address the underlying cause to maintain a healthy and pain-free smile. At East El Paso Dentist, our team of dental professionals is here to help you identify the source of your sensitivity and provide personalized treatment options.

Don’t let tooth sensitivity hold you back from enjoying your favorite foods and beverages. Schedule your next dental visit with us today by calling our office or booking an appointment online. Together, we’ll work towards a more comfortable and confident smile!