What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

why are my teeth sensitive to hot beverages?

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

why are my teeth sensitive to hot beverages?

Even though the enamel is very strong, the rest of a tooth is not. If the root or pulp of a tooth gets exposed, it can cause pain and sensitivity to anything hot, cold, or sugary. 

If any of your teeth are feeling sensitive, don’t try to ignore the sensation and hope it will go away—tooth sensitivity is often the sign of a bigger problem. Tooth sensitivity can happen because of enamel erosion, cavities, or receding gums. 

If tooth decay or gum disease is the reason behind your tooth pain, you need to see a dentist right away.

Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?

Tooth Sensitivity from Enamel Erosion

Many things can cause enamel erosion—everything from plaque buildup to teeth grinding. Your tooth enamel can get thinner if you like to drink coffee, orange juice, or other acidic beverages. It can even get worn down if you use a toothpaste that’s too abrasive or brush your teeth too hard.

Although your tooth enamel is stronger and harder than your bones, it’s not invulnerable. As you age, it’s going to get thinner and thinner from daily wear. If it becomes too thin, your teeth will start to feel sensitive to hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks.

Tooth Sensitivity from Receding Gums

Gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, is one of the leading causes of tooth sensitivity. The roots of your teeth do not have any enamel, because they are protected by your gums. However, if your gums start to recede, the sensitive roots of your teeth will be exposed.

If your teeth are feeling sensitive along the gumline, or if you’ve noticed that your teeth look a little bit longer than they used to, it’s important to seek treatment right away. Gingivitis can often be reversed if treated early, but the more advanced stages of gum disease cannot.

Tooth Sensitivity from Cavities, Cracks, or Chips

Damaged teeth can also be very sensitive. If you have a cavity that reaches into the pulp of your tooth, or if a tooth gets cracked or chipped, it can cause intense pain. Loose or broken crowns and fillings can also make your teeth sensitive.

If you experience a sudden, intense pain in one tooth after eating or drinking something hot or cold, make a dentist appointment right away! Unless you repair the damage immediately, the problem will only get worse, and you might end up needing a root canal instead of just a filling.

Sensitive Teeth Need Treatment

Whether it’s caused by gingivitis or a cavity, ice water or hot coffee, tooth pain means you should see a dentist. No matter what causes your tooth sensitivity, seeking treatment will help relieve your pain and keep your teeth healthy. 

Tooth sensitivity may be common, but it’s not normal. You don’t have to live with tooth pain! If you’re wondering why your teeth are suddenly sensitive, make an appointment at Prescott Dentistry today. Just give us a call at 928-445-1660 or send us a message online.


Photo by David Mao on Unsplash used with permission under the Creative Commons license for commercial use 7/26/2023.