Tooth Sensitivity Causes and Symptoms

Tooth Sensitivity

Do you feel a sharp sting when something cold touches your teeth? Or does it feel uncomfortable for your teeth when you bite into something sweet? Do you have sensitive teeth? While a bit of sensitivity here and there is natural, when it comes to dental conditions, tooth sensitivity is not very uncommon. Around 57% of the population within the age group of 20 years to 50 years has tooth sensitivity.

Dental sensitivity, also known as dentinal hypersensitivity, is a medical condition where the enamel, i.e. the outermost protective layer of the teeth gets thinner. It causes inconvenience when the teeth come in contact with hot, cold, acidic or sweet things.

Dental sensitivity

If you are unsure whether you have dental sensitivity, check out the symptoms below and if you do have dentinal hypersensitivity, find out what causes it on this blog.

What are the symptoms of dental sensitivity?

The most prominent symptom of dental sensitivity is a painful sensation in teeth which can be triggered by various factors such as:

  • Biting on sweet things like jaggery, dairy sweets, pies, cookies etc.
  • Eating hot or cold food like ice cream
  • Drinking hot or cold beverage
  • Drinking aerated beverages
  • Eating or drinking acidic foods like certain fruits and vegetables like lime, pineapple, cabbage etc.
  • Exposure of teeth to very cold air or hot steam
  • Breathing through the mouth in extreme temperature

All people experience some level of sensitivity when eating certain foods. The levels of dental sensitivity might vary. But that does not conclusively mean that you have dental sensitivity. Only a certified dentist can examine your symptoms to say if you have dentinal hypersensitivity.

What causes dental sensitivity?

When the enamel wears off, the dentine is exposed. Dentine is an inner layer of teeth filled with numerous nerve endings. So, when it comes in touch with ‘extreme’ food items, it irritates the nerves deep inside the teeth and causes pain.

There are a wide range of factors which might lead to decay of the enamel of our tooth. Here is a list of causes which the doctors find most common when it comes to tooth sensitivity.

  • Decay due to plaque in tooth
  • Cavity or chipped tooth
  • Enamel erosion due to consumption of highly acidic food frequently
  • Enamel erosion due to exposure of teeth to extreme temperatures
  • Vigorous/excessive brushing
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Using the wrong toothpaste or the wrong toothbrush
  • Gum recession (mostly in aged people)
  • General wearing of the enamel due to an advanced age.
  • Other bad tooth habits like grinding teeth too often

Dental sensitivity does not necessarily affect all your teeth. It might be limited to only one or a few of them. Take an expert’s opinion about your situation. A dentist will be able to provide you with a clearer picture of what may have been the reason for your sensitivity. You can discuss with your doctor to find the best solution to your sensitivity.

Until then, take good care of your teeth

About Dr. Gowtham Kattamuri

Dr. Gowtham has done his BDS from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in 2006 and  MDS – Conservative Dentistry & Endodontics from Dr. MGR Medical University in 2010. He is a skilled Endodontist with an experience of over 10 years. Dr. Gowtham is specialized in replacement of teeth, Dental Implants, prosthetics for maxillofacial defects such as artificial eye, ear, nose and orbital defects, Smile Makeovers with laminates, Zirconia, veneers metal free ceramics. He also performs general dental procedures such as restorations and extractions. He also is trained as an International Patient Coordinator.


GA Dental Clinics is a standout amongst the all the famous dental hospitals in Hyderabad, owing to the world class infrastructure it has, and the utility of leading edge technology at the clinic. Besides its unique infrastructure and highly qualified specialists, GA Dental believes in delivering services at par with global standards.

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