Sensitive teeth describe pain in one or more teeth that is most common when you eat or drink something hot, cold, sweet or sour. The pain experienced can be sudden and sharp and can be felt from deep in the nerve endings of your teeth.
You get sensitive teeth when your gums pull back and expose the surface beneath, called the dentin. This soft layer makes up the inner part and roots, which have thousands of tiny tubes that lead to the tooth's nerve centre (the pulp). These channels allow the trigger; for example, the hot, cold, or sweet food, to reach the nerve in your tooth. This results pain and discomfort.
Other things that can cause sensitive teeth are:
Wear and tear - Over time, brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush or grinding your teeth can wear down enamel and expose the dentin.
Tooth decay near the gum line.
Gum disease (gingivitis). Inflamed and sore gums pull back and expose the roots of your teeth.
Teeth grinding - Grinding or clenching your teeth may wear down the enamel and expose the dentin.
Tooth-whitening products - These products may be major contributors to sensitive teeth.
Acidic foods - Food and drinks with a high acid content, like citrus fruits, tomatoes, pickle, and tea, can wear down enamel.
Dental work - Teeth cleaning, root planing, crown placement, and tooth restoration can make teeth sensitive. This should go away in 4 to 6 weeks