Dentist Questions Sensitive teeth

What can sensitive teeth mean?

My teeth have been hurting me every time I eat or drink cold things. This is something that started happening recently. What could this mean for my teeth? Why is this happening?

15 Answers

You may have gum recession which exposes the root of the tooth, an area that is cold sensitive, Some bonding can usually fix this. You may have a filling that needs replacement. You may have a cavity.
If you have recent dental work, tooth sensitivity is normal! Try using a sensitivity toothpaste to reduce sensitivity. If you have not receive any dental work recently than you may a root exposure. Please see your dentist for other treatment options.
A dental exam should shine some light on this subject
Only your dentist can tell you why your teeth are sensitive. It could be cavities, or wear, or malocclusion, to name a few causes.
You definitely have to check this problem with your dentist. There are many reasons for that for example cavity, gum disease,clenching teeth just to mention a few.
I believe it is a god idea to get a consult from your dentist and bring this to his/her attention. Your problem can be solved as easy of changing your tooth paste.
Need to have a regular check-up. Make an appointment with your dentist.
You might be grinding your teeth while asleep. We call it bruxism. It makes the teeth sensitive to cold stuff. This situation gets worse when the patient is stressed out. Please consider looking at it by your dentist.
There are numerous possible reasons for you sensitivity. If it refers to multiple teeth, the first thing that comes to mind is bruxism. You may be in need of an oral appliance to be worn while sleeping. An accurate diagnosis cannot be made from your question without physically being seen and evaluated. I suggest that you see a trusted dental professional at your earliest convenience. Tooth decay is also responsible for temperature sensitivity. But the chances for multiple teeth having severe decay is usually minimal; unless it has been a long time since you last sought dental treatment and evaluation.
No worries! Patients are often nervous to see their dentists regarding sensitive teeth, fearing it may be cavities. The truth is that cavities almost never hurt. When your teeth are sensitive to cold, it is usually one of two thing: erosion or recession. Erosion is a wearing away of the outer layer of your teeth, usually from drinking acidic drinks (e.g. juice, soda, lemon water), causing them to feel more sensitive. Recession is a wearing away of the gums and bone around your teeth, due to a number of issues, but very often related to grinding and/or clenching your teeth at night (most of us don't know we're doing it).

So the most likely solution to your sensitivity would be to
(1) Minimize acidic drinks, like soda, juice, and lemon water
(2) Start using a toothpaste for sensitivity, like Sensodyne or Colgate sensitive. Be patient with these - it may take 1-2 weeks before they really start working.

If the issue is still not resolved, your dentist may prescribe for you a stronger toothpaste, or, if you seem to be grinding your teeth too much, may make you a nightguard to protect your teeth from abrasion.

Note: There are endless treatment options for sensitivity. Try these first. No one should have to live their life avoiding a good ol' ice coffee!
Sensitive teeth can mean many things. Assuming that you get your teeth checked and cleaned regularly you probably do not have cavities and your sensitivity is most likely related to your 'bite' in which case you would need an "occlusal adjustment". If you do not see a dentist regularly, then you might have cavities and be on the verge of needing a root canal, and if this is the case, get an examination immediately.
There are a few different things that it could mean. First, it could mean that your gums are receding and exposing the roots of your teeth. This can be very painful and you would need extensive work to take care of it. A different cause would be extensive decay to the nerve in one or more teeth. Also very painful, but could be just one tooth that is causing the problem. Both causes are due to less than adequate oral hygiene.
This either means that you may have some decay starting in one or more teeth, or enamel is wearing down or exposed roots are starting to make teeth sensitive.


You could have gum recession, broken fillings, cracked teeth, or need a root canal. There are many other potential problems and you should visit a dentist soon for an accurate diagnosis.

Warmest regards,

Joseph J. Lee, DDS
You can reduce your chances of getting tooth sensitivity by keeping your mouth as healthy as possible with good oral hygiene to help prevent receding gums and periodontal disease. Brushing and flossing properly as recommended by your dentist or hygienist and using a low abrasion toothpaste can help reduce the chance that you will have tooth sensitivity. A diet that is not acidic also helps prevent tooth sensitivity. Ignoring your sensitive teeth can lead to other oral health problems, especially if the pain causes you to brush poorly making you vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease.