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Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?

Tooth sensitivity can be very confusing because much of the time it seemingly comes out of nowhere. One day you’re enjoying your morning latte and the next morning you’re wincing in agony as your teeth feel a sharp pain when the coffee hits them. But where does this sensitivity come from – and how can you combat it in the future? Check out these surprising causes of tooth sensitivity.

Teeth Grinding

You may not realize this applies to you, because many people who grind their teeth don’t even realize they’re doing it. Tooth grinding (also known as bruxism) causes sensitivity because when you grind your teeth you wear down the enamel protecting them from hot and cold.


This occurs in female patients due to the estrogen and progesterone in the blood. These hormones increase blood flow to the gums, heightening their sensitivity. Thankfully this sensitivity is not permanent and may subside as hormone levels wane each month.

Gum Disease

If you have gum disease, anything can make your tender gums hurt – from hot and cold to even something as simple as touch, brushing or flossing. That’s one more reason it’s imperative to brush twice a day and floss at least once a day.

Tooth Bleaching

Do you bleach your teeth either with over-the-counter or professional-grade peroxide? Teeth whiteners could be the culprit behind your tooth sensitivity. Thankfully, when you stop using these products, your teeth should return to normal.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a big umbrella, but it includes cavities, plaque buildup, and cavities around an existing filling. All these painful problems can cause sensitivity and highlight one more reason for annual or semi-annual cleanings. The only way this type of sensitivity can go away is if you see your dentist for treatment.

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