tooth sensitivity

What is tooth sensitivity? The pain you feel in a tooth when you drink a cold or hot beverage or take a bite of ice cream is tooth sensitivity. You may also feel some pain when flossing or brushing your teeth, as well.
Mouth Healthy  gives a number of causes for tooth sensitivity, including:

  • Cavities
  • Cracked teeth
  • Worn filings
  • Gum disease
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Receding gums that expose roots

Why Do You Feel Pain?

Your tooth consists of layers of protection. Enamel protects the part of your tooth above the gum, and cementum is the name of the layer below the gum that protects the root of your tooth. Underneath both of those layers is another layer called dentin. Dentin lacks the solidity of the outer layers and also contains microscopic tubules or channels that lead to the tooth’s nerve center. When dentin is exposed, cold air or heat can go through the tubules and reach the nerves. When that happens you feel pain. As your gums wear down and recede as a result of aging, dentin often gets exposed.

Treatments for Tooth Sensitivity

Here are the some of the most common treatments for tooth sensitivity:

Desensitizing Toothpaste

There are a variety of over-the-counter desensitizing toothpastes you can buy, and you may want to try several different brands to see which one works best for you.

Fluoride Gel

Your dental technician can apply a fluoride gel during your dental visit. It will strengthen the tooth enamel and reduce sensitivity.


A crown, inlay or bonding often works by closing off the area, which reduces sensitivity caused by decay or a crack.

Surgical Gum Graft

If gum tissue has receded around the root, you can get a gum graft to cover the root and reduce sensitivity.

Root Canal

When other treatments aren’t working and the pain is severe, your dentist can do a root canal. The pulp inside the tooth contains the nerves that cause the pain, and during a root canal, your dentist removes the pulp, cleans and disinfects the inside of the tooth canal and then seals it with a rubber like material. Afterward a crown or cap is cemented to the material to prevent access.

Discuss Your Dental Concerns with a Caring Dentist

At Hutto Hippo Family Dental, Dr. Baker works hard to make patients feel comfortable and is glad to answer questions and explain treatment options. Let us help you keep your teeth and gums healthy.