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Why Are My Teeth Sensitive All of a Sudden?

Patient looking at x-rays of teeth with 2 dental specialists

Nobody wants to experience tooth pain or discomfort, but when an issue comes on suddenly, it can be especially jarring. There may be many reasons for a sudden onset of dental sensitivity, and some are more serious than others. In addition to good dental hygiene, the best way to maintain oral health and reduce the risk of tooth sensitivity is to schedule twice-yearly cleanings at Beacon Dental Health.

What is sudden tooth sensitivity?

Many people experience sudden tooth sensitivity, or dentin hypersensitivity, from time to time. For most people who experience sudden tooth sensitivity, a common trigger is eating or drinking something cold, though hot foods and beverages can also cause an episode of tooth sensitivity. Other triggers include food or drinks that are sweet or acidic.

One instance of sudden tooth sensitivity that quickly goes away and doesn’t come back isn’t much cause for concern, but having repeated incidents, especially when they’re not triggered by the common causes above, is a good reason to schedule an appointment at Beacon Dental Health. Our team of dental professionals can do a full examination of your teeth and gums to identify the cause of your lingering issues.

What are some reasons for sudden tooth sensitivity?

It’s reasonable to assume that any sudden pain or discomfort is cause for concern, but this isn’t always the case. Many of the causes of sudden tooth sensitivity will leave as quickly as they come, especially when the triggers, such as cold drinks, are removed. However, there are causes for sudden sensitivity that could signal an underlying oral health issue. The most common reasons why your teeth are sensitive all of a sudden include:

  • Recent dental procedures
  • Aggressive brushing
  • Eating ice
  • Cold weather
  • Teeth grinding and jaw clenching
  • Diet high in hard or acidic foods
  • Eating disorders, particularly bulimia
  • Use of tooth-whitening products
  • Gum disease
  • Sinus problems
  • Tooth damage and decay, including enamel erosion, cavities, and cracked teeth or crowns

When should I be concerned about my sensitive teeth?

It’s not practical to simply never drink cold beverages or eat acidic foods again in order to avoid sudden tooth sensitivity, so if you consistently experience such discomfort, it’s time to schedule a dental exam.

Many of the underlying causes of sudden tooth sensitivity are quite serious, particularly if they are left untreated. Gum disease, for example, can cause tooth loss and damage your overall health — even increasing your risk for heart disease and other chronic health problems.

How can I prevent tooth sensitivity?

There are many ways to reduce your risk of experiencing sudden tooth sensitivity, and the best ones for you will depend on the underlying causes of your discomfort. But the best ways include brushing your teeth gently twice a day and ensuring you’re drinking plenty of water if your eating habits include food and beverages high in acid content. Water helps balance the acid levels in your mouth, leaving less acid behind to erode your tooth enamel.

Schedule a dental exam today

You don’t need to live with dental pain. In addition to good hygiene, having twice-yearly dental exams and cleanings is the best way to maintain your oral health. Whether you’re concerned with sudden tooth sensitivity or other oral health issues, Beacon Dental Health is ready to address your short-term and long-term dental health. Contact the team at our South Yarmouth, MA office today to schedule an appointment.

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