What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

sensitive teeth

Do you typically avoid super hot or cold foods and drinks? If so, you probably live with tooth sensitivity. Some people just have naturally sensitive teeth, but there are also many reasons that you can develop sensitivity, too. At KC Smile in Overland Park, KS, we put an emphasis on patient education and we want to help you understand what causes sensitive teeth in order to avoid these issues and struggling with pain or discomfort.

Sensitive Teeth Explained

As your trusted dentist in Overland Park, you might come to us because you find that your teeth are easily irritated or cause sudden spikes of pain when exposed to things like hot drinks or icy cold foods. Essentially, sensitive teeth are teeth that are sending out a message to your brain when their nerves are triggered. This can be caused by several things, but the main reason is that something has caused the enamel or roots to be exposed or irritated.

A general dentistry appointment is a good way to discover why you have sensitive teeth, and the most common reasons include:

Gum recession

You might have gum disease that is causing your gums to recede, you could be brushing or flossing improperly, or you can have an inherited condition that causes your gums to pull away from the teeth. Whatever reason it occurs, it leaves the roots exposed and this can lead to sensitive teeth.

Acidic drinks or foods

Anything that is acidic (think tomatoes, citrus or even soda) can harm the enamel of the teeth, leaving them more sensitive. Acid even makes invisible holes in the teeth that allows the nerves to be constantly irritated by foods and drinks.


As surprising as it might seem, if you use mouthwash too often, it can cause the teeth to become extremely sensitive.

Over the counter whitening

The peroxide in many tooth whitening products sold in pharmacies and other stores increases tooth sensitivity. Rather than risk it, it is best to speak with us about safe and far more effective whitening.

Suffering from Sensitive Teeth? Visit Our Dentist Today

Are you eager to know why you have sensitive teeth? If so, give us a call at our Overland Park, KS office at 913-491-6874. You can also use our online contact form and one of our staff will get back to you promptly.

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Meet the Doctor

Ross S. Headley, DDS

Using the most advanced materials and techniques, Dr. Ross S. Headley will transform your smile. As Kansas’ only accredited member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Headley understands how unhealthy or unattractive teeth can negatively impact a patient’s life. He witnesses daily how beautiful healthy teeth change lives. Take a moment and explore the options available for you.

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