Why Are Your Teeth So Sensitive After Brushing?

While it's absolutely crucial for their health, brushing your teeth should be quite uneventful. You brush, you rinse, you spit, and you get on with your day. Aside from your mouth feeling fresher after you brush, there shouldn't be any ongoing physical sensations once you finish brushing your teeth. This is why it's slightly worrying when your teeth begin to hurt after you've brushed them. What could be causing this?

Outer Surface

The outer surface of your teeth is made of dental enamel. This is the tough, highly-mineralized layer of your teeth that protects their inner sections. Enamel should stay healthy and intact, but it can become thinner as it wears away.

Dietary Factors

Worn enamel may be caused by your diet. When oral bacteria come into contact with foods and drinks that pass through your mouth, they create an acidic byproduct. This can begin to corrode your dental enamel. Eventually, it will decay, and a cavity will be created. But before this happens, the enamel becomes thinner and thinner.


There are other causes for worn dental enamel. In your efforts to keep your teeth as clean as possible, you may be using a toothbrush with the hardest, strongest possible bristles. The hardness of the toothbrush's bristles when combined with the force of your brushing can mean that you might accidentally be rubbing your own enamel off your teeth. But whether it's due to your diet or your brushing methods (or both), why are your teeth hurting after brushing?

More Sensitivity

Thin dental enamel can make teeth more sensitive. Underneath the enamel is the tooth's dentin layer, and beneath the dentin is the tooth's pulp, or nerve, located in the pulp chamber at the center of the tooth. When protective enamel is thin or absent, the tooth's pulp becomes increasingly sensitive. The problem is likely to worsen without help.

Treating Your Enamel

Sensitive teeth are an incredibly common issue in general dentistry, and treatment is generally uncomplicated. Depending on the state of your enamel, you have several options. Although lost enamel can't be regrown, your dentist may be able to perform a series of intensive fluoride treatments to manually remineralize your enamel, which should help to fortify it. Alternatively, the teeth in question can be bonded, which is when a thin layer of tooth-colored resin is applied to their surfaces, acting as a type of synthetic enamel. Your dentist may also tell you to change to a softer toothbrush. 

Teeth shouldn't be excessively sensitive after brushing, and they certainly shouldn't be painful. If this is becoming a problem, please see your dentist as soon as you can, since your dental enamel may be thinning and in need of attention. For more information, contact a professional like Dr. Jon Douglas Lesan, DDS, RpH, PA.