What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

When tooth enamel wears away or gums recession occurs —either can expose the soft, inner part of your tooth called dentin. This dentin houses thousands of microscopic channels that run toward the center of the tooth, where the nerves live.

Certain triggers like cold drinks or hot tea can travel through these channels and stimulate the nerve, causing a short, sharp pain.

Woman touching cheek after experiencing sudden tooth pain


2 Main Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Enamel Wear Gum Recession

Gum Recession

Healthy gums are essential for healthy teeth. If gums recede, dentin can become exposed, making the teeth susceptible to tooth sensitivity.

Causes of Gum Recession

Gum disease

Symptoms include redness, swelling, and bleeding of gums.

Aggressive brushing

Using a hard-bristled toothbrush can also cause gum recession.

Enamel Wear

Enamel is the hard, outermost surface of the tooth protecting the dentin. Over time, if tooth enamel wears away, dentin becomes exposed, which can lead to tooth sensitivity.


Aggressive brushing

Brushing too hard or too frequently.

Acid erosion

Over time, acidic foods and drinks can weaken and erode tooth enamel, which exposes dentin.

How Sensodyne Can Help

Sensodyne is specially formulated to relieve and help protect against tooth sensitivity and is the No.1 dentist recommended toothpaste brand for sensitive teeth.

It works by creating a barrier over sensitive areas or by soothing the nerves inside your tooth, ultimately offering effective sensitivity protection when you brush with it twice a day, every day.

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