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What to Do About Sensitive Teeth

Dealing with sensitive teeth can be a real pain—literally. Whether it’s a sharp twinge from a sip of hot coffee or a jolt of discomfort from biting into something cold, millions of adults grapple with tooth sensitivity. But fear not, there are ways to tackle this issue head-on. Let’s delve into the causes of sensitive teeth and explore some practical solutions.

What Triggers Tooth Sensitivity?

Sensitive teeth are often the result of worn-out dental layers, leaving nerves exposed along receding gum lines. This exposure can occur due to various factors, including:

  • Tiny Fractures: Even minuscule cracks in teeth or crowns, often caused by chewing hard substances or using teeth as tools, can lead to significant pain and sensitivity.
  • Worn Enamel: Abraded tooth enamel, stemming from factors like aggressive brushing, worn-out fillings, or teeth grinding, can result in sharp, stabbing pain when biting into certain foods.
  • Dental Damage: Tooth decay and cavities, if left untreated, can lead to enamel erosion and heightened sensitivity over time.
  • Teeth Whitening: Some teeth whitening procedures involving potent bleaching gels may temporarily increase tooth sensitivity, though the discomfort typically subsides after discontinuing use.
  • Sinus Pressure: Sinus infections can exert pressure on the jaw and teeth, compressing nerve endings and causing sensitivity.
  • Gum Infections: Periodontal diseases like gingivitis can progress unnoticed until teeth become sensitive due to inflamed or infected gums.

Effective Solutions to Reduce Dental Sensitivity:

While professional dental treatment is advisable for severe sensitivity, there are several home remedies worth exploring:

  • Gentle Brushing: Opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush to safeguard enamel, prevent nerve exposure, and discourage gum recession.
  • Desensitizing Toothpaste: Specialized toothpaste for sensitive teeth often contains ingredients like potassium nitrate, which block pain signals to nerves.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse: A diluted hydrogen peroxide solution can help sterilize the mouth, reduce inflammation, and promote gum healing.
  • Saltwater Mouthwash: A simple yet effective antiseptic solution, gargling with saltwater can alleviate pain and inflammation associated with sensitivity.
  • Nightguards: For teeth grinders, wearing nightguards can prevent enamel wear and tear, reducing sensitivity.

Prevention Is Key:

Proactive measures can help stave off dental sensitivity:

  • Mindful Diet: Avoid acidic foods and beverages, high-sugar snacks, and sticky candies, opting instead for tooth-friendly options like cheese, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, and dairy products.
  • Oral Hygiene: Maintain a regular oral care routine, including brushing with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and using mouthwash to keep bacteria at bay.
  • Regular Dental Visits: Schedule routine check-ups to catch potential issues early, preventing severe decay or gum problems.
  • Awareness and Communication: Pay attention to patterns of sensitivity and communicate them to your dentist, as chronic sensitivity may signal underlying issues requiring professional intervention.


Sensitive teeth needn’t be a perpetual source of discomfort. By identifying triggers, adopting preventive measures, and seeking appropriate treatment, you can reclaim comfort and confidence in your smile.