Have you ever felt some discomfort in teeth due to a bite of an ice-cream or a sip of hot soup? If yes, then you are suffering from the problem called “tooth Sensitivity” In dentistry, tooth Sensitivity is also called as “dentin hypersensitivity” It is a crucial pain in the tooth that is caused by worn tooth enamel, exposed tooth roots, cavity, chipped or cracked tooth and gum disease.

Tooth Sensitivity is Characterised as “as a discomfort to the tooth, as a sudden response to certain stimuli”

Tooth sensitivity is a crucial discomfort that is caused due to dental pain. The teeth pain is caused due to some activities that are temporary like eating, brushing, and drinking. This results in worn tooth enamel, or exposed tooth roots. Teeth Sensitive can also be caused because of a cavity, a cracked or chipped tooth, a worn filling, or gum disease. Teeth Sensitive is also called as root sensitivity.

Many of us say that we have “sensitive teeth”. They usually mean that we feel twinges of pain or discomfort in our teeth. These may include:

  • Drinking or eating cold things
  • Drinking or eating hot things
  • Eating excess of sweets

Expert's Opinions

  • Dr. Manan Dhulia Dental Director of Sabka dentist says “Sensitivity involves sensation of sharp, temporary pain in your teeth during brushing, eating or drinking.Usually, hot and cold stimuli accentuate the pain.”
  • Dr. Priyanka Shingore Dental Director of Sabka dentist says ”Sensitive teeth are typically a result of exposed dentinal tubules, worn out enamel, exposed tooth root etc.”
  • Dr. Jena Shah Dental Director of Sabka dentist says “Treatment options for sensitive teeth includes use of desensitizing toothpaste, bonding, surgical gum graft for exposed roots etc."

There are two types of tooth sensitivity:

Dentinal sensitivity takes place when the dentin of a tooth is exposed from the surface. When the dentin is opened, cold or hot temperature or pressure can affect these nerve branches. This causes sensitivity.

Some causes of dentin exposure include:

  • Brushing your teeth too hard.
  • Poor oral hygiene.
  • Long-term tooth wear.
  • Untreated cavities.
  • An old filling with a crack or leak.
  • Receding gums that expose the tooth’s roots.
  • Gum surgery that exposes a tooth’s roots.
  • Frequently eating acidic foods or drinking acidic liquids.

Pulpal sensitivity tends to affect only a single tooth that is caused by:

  • Tooth Decay or infection.
  • A recent filling.
  • Excessive pressure from clenching or grinding.
  • A cracked or broken tooth.


The pain felt in teeth sensitivity is sharp and sudden, in response to an external stimulus. The most common cause is cold. 75% of people with hypersensitivity report pain upon application because of the cold. Other types of stimuli may also trigger pain in dentin hypersensitivity, including:

  • Thermal – hot and cold drinks and foods,cold air, coolant water jet from a dental instrument.
  • Electrical – electric pulp testers.
  • Mechanical–tactile – dental probe during dental examination, periodontal scaling and root planing, toothbrushing.
  • Osmotic – hypertonic solutions such as sugars.
  • Evaporation – air blast from a dental instrument.
  • Chemical – acids, e.g. dietary, gastric, acid etch during dental treatments.
  • The frequency and severity with which the pain occurs are variable.


Our dentist will look at your dental history and will examine your mouth. You will also need X-rays which are free of cost at Sabka Dentist to show if there is decay or a problem with the nerve. The dentist will ask you about your oral habits. The dentist also will look for decay, deep fillings and exposed root surfaces. They may use an explorer to test teeth for sensitivity.

A tooth may be sensitive to cold for several weeks after you get a filling. The metals in amalgam (silver) conduct the cold very well, transmitting it to the pulp. Bonded (tooth-colored) fillings require etching the tooth with acid before the filling is placed. In some cases, this etching removes enough enamel to make the tooth sensitive. However, advances in bonding now make it less likely to cause tooth sensitivity.

The dentist can do tests to see if you need a root canal treatment.


Teeth sensitivity is quite treatable, whatever the cause.

Your dentist or dental hygienist will clean your teeth. If your teeth are too sensitive to be cleaned, your dentist may use a local anesthetic or nitrous oxide before the cleaning.

After a cleaning, your dentist may apply a fluoride varnish to protect your teeth. This temporarily reduces sensitivity. It also strengthens your teeth. Your dentist may apply an in-office treatment for sensitivity. These products block the openings (tubules) in dentin and reduce sensitivity. A newer approach is to use a dental laser. The laser treatment also alters the tubules to reduce sensitivity.

Using fluoride toothpastes and fluoride mouth rinses at home will help to reduce sensitivity. You also can buy toothpastes just for sensitive teeth.

Talk to your dentist about which fluoride rinses you should use. Some over-the-counter rinses are acidic. Others are not. You should choose a fluoride mouth rinse that uses neutral sodium fluoride.

Pulpal sensitivity will be treated with a root canal if the tooth’s nerve is damaged or dying. Your dentist will remove the nerve and place a non-reactive substance (gutta percha) in the space where the nerve was. The tooth no longer will have a continuous barrier of enamel to protect it. Therefore, it will be restored with either a composite filling or a crown.

To reduce pain due to grinding or clenching, the dentist will make a plastic night guard. Use the guard while you sleep.

When To Call a Professional

If sensitivity lasts for longer than a few weeks, contact Sabka dentist. If you have a scheduled cleaning coming up soon, talk to our dentist about your sensitivity during your appointment. In most of the cases , tooth sensitivity are easy to treat.

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About Author

Dr. Priyanka graduated in 2008, obtained her BDS degree from the faculty of dentistry at the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences. Upon graduating, she was selected to complete a multi-disciplinary hospital residency at Government Dental College and Hospital, Mumbai. This residency provided her with advanced training in all the specialties of dentistry. Dr. Priyanka then moved to private practice, working as an associate dentist.
Dr. Priyanka has a diploma in Soft Tissue Lasers from IALD and fellowship in Implant & Esthetic Dentistry. Dr. Priyanka completed MBA in Hospital Management and Clinical Research. She has worked at Sabka Dentist since 2012 and is pleased to say that their advanced technology allows dentists like her to provide patients with painless, gentle dentistry and a pleasant experience.