Woman experiencing tooth sensitivity

26 Jan How to Properly Manage Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity can be a frustrating and painful experience that can happen to anyone. If you’re experiencing this kind of sensitivity and live in Kelowna or West Kelowna, we can help. Even if you’re not looking for a dentist in Kelowna or West Kelowna, this article will still be helpful as we provide a number of options and potential solutions to dealing with tooth sensitivity.

Below, we explore some common causes of tooth sensitivity, why it’s often more noticeable in the colder Canadian winters, and how teeth whitening can actually contribute to the problem. We’ll also discuss potential solutions as well so you’re able to move forward with your day without being in pain.

Common Causes of Sudden Tooth Sensitivity

One of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity is tooth decay. This occurs when the enamel, the protective coating on the surface of your teeth, is eroded, revealing the sensitive dentin underneath. This can happen as a result of poor oral hygiene, consuming sugary or acidic foods or drinks in excess, and using tooth-whitening products too frequently.

Another cause of tooth sensitivity is gum recession. This occurs when the gums pull away from the tooth, exposing the sensitive roots. This can happen as a result of periodontal disease, vigorous tooth brushing, or simply natural aging.

Tooth sensitivity can also be caused by tooth erosion, which occurs when the enamel is worn down by acid, such as from vomiting, acid reflux, or consuming acidic foods and drinks.

Does Grinding Teeth Cause Tooth Sensitivity?

Another factor to consider is bruxism (i.e. tooth grinding or jaw clenching) which can cause tooth sensitivity. This habit can happen unconsciously while sleeping or during the day and can wear down the enamel and lead to sensitivity.

Is Tooth Sensitivity Worse in Winter?

Many people find that tooth sensitivity is more noticeable in the colder Canadian winters. This is likely because cold air can cause the blood vessels in the tooth to constrict, making the tooth more sensitive. Additionally, the dry air that is common in the wintertime can dehydrate the mouth, leading to shrinkage of the tooth and gums which can further increase the sensitivity.

Another cause to consider during the winter months is the increased use of hot drinks like coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. The temperature contrast between the cold air and the hot liquid can cause teeth to become more sensitive.

Dentist showing patient how she's going to treat tooth sensitivity

Does Teeth Whitening Affect Tooth Sensitivity?

Teeth whitening can also contribute to tooth sensitivity in some cases. This is because whitening products often contain harsh chemicals that can erode the enamel, leading to sensitivity if used too often. Overuse of whitening products can even lead to damaging tooth enamel.

Solutions for Treating Sensitive Teeth

If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity and seeking a solution, we can help. The first step is to identify the cause of the sensitivity. Our experienced dentists will perform a comprehensive oral examination and may take x-rays to get a better look at your teeth and gums. Based on this examination, our dentist will be able to recommend the appropriate course of treatment.

  • If tooth decay is the cause of your sensitivity, we’ll likely recommend a filling, crown, or inlay.
  • If gum recession is the cause, we may recommend a soft tissue graft to help cover the exposed roots.
  • If tooth erosion is the cause, we may recommend avoiding acidic foods and drinks, as well as using tooth-protective fluoride gels and rinses. We may also suggest lifestyle changes like quitting smoking or reducing alcohol intake.
  • For bruxism, we may recommend a night guard to protect your teeth from further wear and tear.

Oral Care Routine for People With Tooth Sensitivity

Our dentists may also recommend changes to your oral care habits to help reduce or stop tooth sensitivity. These include proper brushing and flossing techniques, using fluoride-rich toothpaste, and regular dental check-ups.

In addition, our dentists may recommend using toothpaste or mouthwash specifically formulated for sensitive teeth. These products can help to block the sensation of pain and reduce sensitivity.

We understand how painful and frustrating tooth sensitivity can be. Our team of experienced dentists is dedicated to helping patients in Kelowna and West Kelowna alleviate their sensitivity and achieve optimal oral health.



Experiencing sensitive teeth? Book an appointment with us today so we can help get to the root of the issue and move forward with the right treatment for you!