Ever brush your teeth, or take a drink of something hot or cold and have this overwhelming sensitivity reaction in your teeth or gums? NOT fun!

Tooth sensitivity is usually caused by the presence of a cavity. It’s often a sure sign that there’s decay present, and damage occurring. Sensitivity can also be the sign of wear on the enamel of your tooth due to grinding, or cracks forming on or along your tooth. High or low temperature liquids, or even air, can invade the tooth to the root nerve if the crack or cavity is deep enough and cause a strong sensitivity response.

Your teeth can also be sensitive when your gums are infected, or more commonly, receding. Gum line recession can expose the root of your tooth, and in addition to opening up the tooth to potential plaque and infection issues, it can, at the very least, create great sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet, sour, and contact. If your gums recede, it may be important to clean down between the surrounding gums and teeth in a procedure called Scaling and Root Planing. In extreme cases, gum grafts can overlay the exposed root of your tooth and prevent further recession, as well as protect against continued sensitivity.

One key common cause of gum recession that leads to tooth sensitivity is improper brushing habits and methods. You should always brush your teeth up and down in a gentle circular motion, whereas many people brush long and hard against their teeth at the gum line. Over time, that kind of pressure can really break down gums and cause recession. Good brushing isn’t just about keeping your teeth healthy and clean, it’s about keeping them intact, too! So be sensitive as to how you brush…a little sensitivity there will prevent a LOT of sensitivity later!