Tooth Sensitivity – Causes and Solutions

If your teeth feel uncomfortable when you eat hot or cold foods, you may need treatment.

Whilst some of us will have thinner enamel on our teeth than others, due to genetics; if you notice a sudden change when you eat or drink hot or cold foods, feeling discomfort when you didn’t before, there may be a problem.

Even where the discomfort is manageable, if this is happening to you, you should have your teeth checked by one of our Purley dentists to see if there are any underlying problems. Sensitivity often occurs when the enamel is damaged in some way, exposing the underlying dentin layer.

Enamel erosion

One of the main causes of tooth sensitivity is due to erosion of the protective enamel. This is usually a gradual process and can happen in a number of ways; for example, one of the most common causes is the exposure of the enamel to an acidic environment. One of the worst culprits for this is increasingly thought to be high sugar, acidic fizzy drinks. Children especially should be discouraged from drinking these too often, but adults too should exercise restraint. Even natural fruit drinks, which are generally thought to be healthy, can still be very acidic and should also be limited.

Although we always encourage patients to clean their teeth thoroughly, applying too much pressure when doing so, for long periods of time, is another common cause of tooth erosion. There is no need to press too hard when doing this. Many electric toothbrushes now have pressure sensors which cut out when you do this and can be a useful investment if you don’t already have one.

Cracked tooth

If there is a very sudden change in the sensitivity of a tooth, you may well have cracked it. Even the tiniest crack, which is invisible to the naked eye, can expose the dentin layer. This should be checked promptly at the Confidental Clinic to prevent the problem becoming worse.


If a tooth is cracked, the treatment may depend on the extent and location of the crack. Fillings or bonding are common ways of resolving this problem, but your local Purley dentist will advise the best treatment following an examination.

Where significant enamel erosion is present, porcelain dental veneers may be used to restore the front surface of your teeth. This will both protect the underlying dentin layer and also restore your smile. Whilst this does mean the need for a more invasive procedure, this treatment is very effective and also long lasting. If you have noticed that your teeth have become sensitive, we can help. Why not arrange to see one of the dental team at the Confidental Clinic by calling us on 020 8660 8923 so that we can help you to eat and drink in comfort once again.