Key Takeaway - Why are my teeth sensitive all of a sudden?
If you experience sensitive teeth, you may have damaged enamel. Use sensitivity management toothpaste and get fluoride varnish to protect your teeth.
If we have to describe life in two words for those with sensitive teeth, it would be - dull and painful. Indeed, sensitivity can be cruel enough to ruin your way of living.
After personally experiencing this dental condition, we now understand how painful it is to consume hot and chilled food items during this condition. At least, now you know you are not alone in this.
For the record, over 45 million US population have sensitive teeth, and the number is still growing as we indulge in bad eating habits. But the good thing is that sensitivity is treatable. If you are wondering, ‘why are my teeth sensitive all of a sudden,’ you have landed in the correct space.
This guide will detail why you suddenly have sensitive teeth and why your front and bottom teeth are sensitive out of nowhere.
Why are my Teeth Sensitive all of a sudden?
Tooth sensitivity, also called dentin hypersensitivity, is a prevailing dental condition that prevents you from devouring your favorite foods. But do you know what triggers it all of a sudden? Several underlying conditions can result in tooth sensitivity. For instance:
- Decay or cavities
- Gum disease
- Depleted tooth enamel
- Worn fillings
- Root exposure
- Plaque or tartar buildup
- Tooth fractures or cracks
There could be other possible reasons for sudden tooth sensitivity. For instance, enamel erosion or sensitivity due to certain factors makes your enamel porous and sensitive to extreme temperatures.
Let’s take a look at a tooth’s anatomy. The first layer is enamel, the hardest material in the human body, which protects the entire tooth from external dangers. However, when the enamel is exposed to acids and other harmful substances, it erodes and exposes dentin. And once the enamel is damaged, it can’t be repaired. It can only be maintained if properly cared for.
Beneath the enamel resides dentin that guards the pulp and sensitive nerves residing in it. The nerves inside the dentin host sensitive nerves responsible for letting you know when something is too hot or cold. Therefore when you feel sudden sensitivity while having hot chocolate, it’s your dentin speaking.
Top 10 Reasons for Tooth Sensitivity
Following are the top most common reasons that might be causing your sensitive teeth all of a sudden.
Brushing too Hard
Do you have a habit of brushing your teeth rigorously and are now experiencing sensitivity? Perhaps you have damaged your enamel that’s why you are feeling sensitive to hot and cold foods. Brushing hard or using a hard bristled brush can permanently erode your enamel and expose your tooth's second top layer (dentin).
Tip: Always use a soft-bristled brush to clean your teeth and gently brush at a 45-degree angle and gums in a circular or back-and-forth motion.
A cracked or chipped tooth is one of the most common reasons for sensitive teeth. The chipped or cracked part of the tooth may allow the bacteria to enter the pulp and cause inflammation. Hence, you feel sudden sensitivity out of nowhere.
Teeth Whitening Treatments
Teeth whitening is a common tooth bleaching procedure and comes in different types and forms. While these treatments are safe, you may feel sensitivity for a short time as some harsh components in these treatments may open pores in your enamel and let the whitening material reach the dentin; hence, you feel sensitivity.
Take-home whitening kits are highly prohibited as they can cause you prolonged sensitivity. If you want to use whitening kits or strips, get approval from your dentist and then go for it.
For those who don’t know, gum recession is a dental condition in which your gums pull away from your teeth, making pockets and exposing the underneath roots. Several factors can cause this, for instance, smoking, aggressive brushing, or even genetics.
Since gum recession exposes your teeth’s roots, everything you eat or drink directly reaches those roots and causes you sensitivity. For treatment, the dentist typically applies fluoride varnish to cover the roots or uses other desensitizing agents to minimize discomfort.
Teeth grinding gradually wears down enamel and eventually depletes it. If you grind your teeth daily or occasionally, it will damage your enamel and expose dentin (the layer beneath the enamel); hence you have sensitive teeth.
If you suffer from bruxism, consult your dentist to deal with this issue. They will provide you with effective solutions to tackle the problem.
Consuming Acidic Foods
Frequently consuming acidic foods weaken your gums and damage your enamel. Once the enamel is damaged, you become sensitive to hot and cold food items. The best way to keep your enamel healthy is by avoiding or minimizing the use of acidic foods.
You should limit consuming food items such as tomatoes, yogurt, pickles, sugary drinks, and energy beverages.
Age is another factor and a natural cause of enamel erosion. According to the studies, tooth sensitivity peaks between the age of 25 to 30. And women are more affected by this than men.
It is advisable to start taking care of your oral hygiene from an early age so that you don’t experience issues like sensitivity, plaque buildup, or tooth decay at a later age.
Dentists perform dental fillings to cover the exposed part of the tooth from bacterial infections. However, when the filling loosens, it may cause your teeth to become sensitive to cold and hot food items.
Why are my Front Teeth Sensitive all of a sudden?
As said above, sensitive teeth result from weak or worn-down enamel. If you are experiencing sensitivity, particularly in your front teeth, you may have damaged your enamel and have exposed dentin, causing extreme sensitivity.
Why are my Bottom Teeth Sensitive all of a sudden?
Whether it’s upper front teeth or lower front teeth, the main reason for the sensitivity is the damaged enamel. However, if the same sensitivity happens in the back teeth, it could be a sign of cavities, decay, or a loose filling.
How Do I Stop my Bottom Teeth from being Sensitive?
If you have sensitive teeth, try these tips for relief:
- Use toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth
- Brush gently using soft bristle brushes
- Get your gums checked by a dentist
- Swish with saline water or coconut oil
- Get dental varnishes for coating your teeth
- Take painkillers
- Avoid acidic foods and beverages
- Apply garlic to the affected area
Dental enamel is the frontline protective shield for teeth that save them from bacterial infections and other external threats. It is essential not to let the enamel damage because once it is worn down, you can never fix it back. Hence your only option will be to resort to temporary treatments for relief.
If you have sensitivity in all your teeth, it’s better to get your dentist appointment, and till then, try the above-mentioned pain-management tips for instant relief.