Common Causes Of Dentin Hypersensitivity

The dentin is the second layer of your teeth, from outside, after the enamel. The dentin is relatively strong, but it is not as strong the enamel, and it is also fairly sensitive. When a tooth's enamel gets damaged, stimulating substances (such as cold, hot, or bitter food and drinks) can reach the dentin and trigger discomfort or pain known as dentin hypersensitivity.

Here are some specific causes of the condition.

Dental Cavities

Dental cavities occur when oral bacteria produce acid that damages the teeth. In severe cases, the damage may be extensive enough to expose the sensitive inner parts of the teeth.

Gingival Recession

A gingival recession occurs when the gums peel back and expose the sensitive roots of the teeth. Different factors such as gum disease, vigorous teeth brushing, smoking, and hormonal imbalances are some of the causes of gingival recession.

Acidic Erosion

The enamel is mostly calcium phosphate, a basic salt that reacts with the acid to form different compounds. Thus, anything that exposes your teeth to acid interferes with the enamel and may expose the dentin. Common culprits include acidic fruits such as lemons and gastro-esophageal reflux that bring acidic stomach contents up into the mouth.

Dental Accidents

An accident that cracks or splits your teeth may also expose the dentin and trigger hypersensitivity. In some cases, you may not even be aware that your tooth is cracked since minor cracks may not be painful. 


Bruxism is a dangerous habit where you find yourself grinding and clenching your teeth most of the time, even when you sleep. The constant grinding and clenching put enormous pressure on your teeth that wears down the enamel. Over time, the worn enamel may expose the sensitive dentin underneath it.

Dental Treatments

Dental treatments that damage or wear the enamel may also trigger hypersensitivity. For example, before you get dental veneers, the dentist first has to remove small portions of your teeth. The preparation may make your teeth hypersensitive. Dental bleaching may also open up the spores on your teeth and make them hypersensitive. Fortunately, hypersensitivity due to dental treatments usually goes away on their own after a short while.

Aggressive Brushing

Lastly, you may also develop dentin hypersensitivity due to aggressive brushing. Using abrasive toothpaste (some homemade toothpaste tend to fall in this category) or hard-bristled toothbrush may erode your teeth enamel, especially if you make aggressive brushing a habit.

Dentin hypersensitivity can make your life miserable and interfere with your diet and nutrition. Consult your dentist as soon as possible if you feel discomfort and pain when taking hot or cold foods and drinks. For more information, reach out to dentists like Michael G Landy DDS.