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Why Do I Have Sensitive Teeth?

Why Do I Have Sensitive Teeth?

While enamel is the strongest substance in your body, teeth may still become sensitive. Tooth sensitivity occurs when the enamel layer of a tooth becomes worn away, exposing its underlying dentin layer. The dentin layer is much softer than enamel, so sensations of cold, heat, or pressure are felt more intensely. 

Causes of Sensitivity

Enamel Loss

Enamel is the thin outer layer of teeth that helps protect teeth from decay and sensitivity. Many things can cause damage to the enamel, including acidic foods and drinks. Enamel loss can cause teeth to become more sensitive to hot and cold foods, drinks, and air.

Gum Recession

Tooth sensitivity is a possible side effect of gum recession. When gums recede, they can expose the tooth roots. These roots have thousands of tiny nerve endings. When these nerve endings are exposed, they no longer remain covered by gum tissue and enamel. Instead, they are open to the elements, including hot and cold temperatures as well as air.

Over time, this exposure can result in tooth sensitivity. When teeth are exposed to cold or heat, it can result in pain or discomfort. This discomfort may be sharp, intense pain or a dull ache.

Cracked Tooth

The most common cause of tooth sensitivity is a cracked tooth. When the tooth becomes cracked, the inner pulp can become exposed. This is very painful because the pulp contains nerves. 

Tooth Enamel Hypoplasia

Enamel hypoplasia is a condition that occurs due to delayed tooth eruption. This typically occurs because there is not enough space in the jaw for the tooth to erupt. As a result, the tooth remains partially submerged within the gums, and the tooth only partially erupts.

This can result in tooth sensitivity because the enamel is not fully developed. Enamel hypoplasia tends to be more common in people who have other dental problems, specifically crowding.

Acidic Food and Beverages

Acidic foods can weaken tooth enamel. Over time, enamel loss can lead to sensitivity and discoloration.

Due to Dental Work

Teeth sensitivity after dental work is a common issue that patients face. It is common to have a little sensitivity after getting a new filling or crown, but it is typically only temporary. Most people will experience mild discomfort, such as mild pain and sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures after the dental work is completed. If it persists, you can talk about it to our dentist in Oakland, CA. We may recommend over-the-counter medications after checking your condition.

To learn more about best practices for oral health, call Bay Area Dental at (510) 350-8187 or visit our dental office at 3300 Webster Street, #907, Oakland, CA 94609. Book your appointment with our dentist in Oakland, CA, to achieve the smile you have always wished for.


3300 Webster Street, #907, Oakland, CA 94609

Office Hours

MON Closed

TUE 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

WED Closed

THU 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

FRI - SUN Closed

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Phone: (510) 350-8187