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What Causes Sudden Tooth Sensitivity?

What Causes Sudden Tooth Sensitivity?

Sudden sharp tooth sensitivity can ruin even the most delicious meal in the world. There are a lot of possible reasons why you are experiencing sudden tooth sensitivity. However, it all boils down to one common cause – the exposure of the internal parts of your tooth. 

How does your tooth become sensitive?

Tooth sensitivity often occurs due to dentin exposure. Our tooth consists of several layers such as tooth enamel, dentin, and tooth pulp. Unlike the tooth enamel, dentin is softer and contains tiny pores connected to the pulp. The tooth pulp contains our nerves and blood vessels which are responsible for signaling sensations such as pain. 

When the tooth enamel starts to lose its minerals, small pockets will form and expose your dentin which causes sensitivity to temperatures, air, and other food substances. The tooth root doesn’t have tooth enamel below the gums, which is also another cause of tooth sensitivity if exposed.

6 Possible causes of sudden tooth sensitivity

Tooth pain is usually a mystery since pain can come from several causes. Here are some of the common cause of weak tooth enamel and dentin exposure:

Teeth grinding due to stress

Many of us are experiencing pandemic stress. If you are under stress or anxious, chances are you are unconsciously clenching your jaws. The constant pressure on your teeth due to bruxism can wear down the tooth enamel of your upper and lower teeth and cause teeth sensitivity. Try to find a healthy outlet for your stress like exercising and visit your dentist as soon as possible.

Gum inflammation or gingivitis

Inflamed gums wear away from the tooth due to the early stage of periodontal disease or gum disease and expose the tooth root. Our tooth root contains the tooth pulp, which houses the nerves and blood vessels. Therefore, you will feel different sensations and sensitivity once the tooth root gets exposed. 

Post-treatment effect of teeth whitening

Teeth whitening treatments use a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide to bleach the deep-seated stains below the surface of our teeth. However, it can remove minerals from the tooth enamel, baring off your dentin and causing sensitivity.  

However, tooth sensitivity due to whitening treatments usually fades off after a day or two. The tooth will recover on its own when you eat or drink calcium and fluoride-rich meals to replenish all the minerals lost in your tooth enamel.

Weakened tooth enamel due to too much acidic foods

Acidic food and drinks can wear down our tooth enamel and weaken our gum line. Constant consumption of acidic foods like oranges, tomatoes, and soda will gradually damage your tooth enamel, resulting in sudden sensitivity. Dentists usually recommend a desensitizing toothpaste, soft-bristled brush, and diet adjustments to protect and preserve your sensitive teeth.

Newly developed tooth decay

One of the clear indications of developing tooth decay is tooth sensitivity other than pain. Before the disease-causing bacteria reach your tooth pulp, they will first break through the enamel and expose the dentin. Tooth sensitivity is also a possible sign that your tooth decay is at a stage where it is no longer irreversible since the bacteria already infiltrated the tooth enamel. 

Cracked or chipped tooth exposing the dentin

A bad bite or using your teeth as a tool can cause a chipped or cracked tooth. In some cases, mild cracks like the size of a hairline don’t usually cause tooth sensitivity. However, the cracks or chips on your tooth can expand as you continue to use your teeth when eating. Therefore, the dentin becomes exposed and becomes susceptible not only to sensitivity but also to tooth decay. 

Treatments for cracked or chipped teeth include dental fillings and dental bonding to protect and seal your tooth against bacteria. 

Get to the bottom of your sudden tooth sensitivity with Dr. Roy Jennings Dentistry

Your sudden tooth sensitivity is something that you should check into as soon as you can. Time is everything for our oral health. The sooner you fix your dental issues can save you from further medical complications and expensive dental costs.

Let our dental team help you identify the cause of your sudden tooth sensitivity. Dr. Roy Jennings Dentistry provides comprehensive dental services for tooth sensitivity in Monroe: Our services include:

  • Restorative dental treatments
  • Dental night guards
  • Periodontal therapy

Schedule your appointment now so you can enjoy eating your favorite ice cream once again. 

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