Ouch! Why are my teeth sensitive to certain foods?

By Dr. Brett Silverman | Jan 15, 2020 | General Oral Care, Teeth Grinding, Teeth Whitening
Ouch! Why are my teeth sensitive to certain foods?

One thing we can all agree on — tooth sensitivity is not fun. No one wakes up in the morning hoping to feel pain when eating certain foods.

Our dentist, Dr. Brett Silverman at Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, helps many patients fix their sensitive teeth once and for all.

But why do teeth become sensitive in the first place? Why do you feel tooth sensitivity when eating certain foods?

Join us as we explore those common questions about tooth sensitivity!

Common reasons why your teeth are sensitive to certain foods

  1. If you have cracked or broken teeth, you’ll most certainly experience tooth sensitivity. Hard foods or other dental trauma can cause cracked or broken teeth. If the tooth root becomes exposed, you will almost certainly experience pain (above and beyond minor sensitivity) no matter which type of food you’re eating. At this point, you’ll definitely want to call your dentist right away to get the broken or cracked tooth fixed.

  2. Recent tooth whitening experience. Getting your teeth professionally whitened at the dentist’s office or using whitening toothpaste puts you at a higher risk for sensitive teeth. It usually goes away once you stop using the whitening agent, though, but in the meantime you may experience sensitivity to hot/cold items (or even cold winter weather).

  3. Brushing and flossing too aggressively. You should always use a soft bristled toothbrush and be extra gentle when flossing your teeth. If you brush or floss too aggressively, you’ll most likely cause gum bleeding and/or sensitive teeth/gums afterwards. Instead, take your time while brushing and flossing.

  4. Eating too many acidic foods or sugary foods. Eating acidic or high-sugar foods/beverages can weaken tooth enamel over time. When tooth enamel weakens over time, you might experience sensitivity since the more sensitive, inner layer of the tooth becomes exposed. The sugary/acidic foods access your tooth’s nerve center, thereby triggering sharp, intense pain/sensitivity. To avoid sensitivity, brush/floss gently and limit acidic/sugary foods and beverages.

  5. If you grind your teeth, you’re setting yourself up for tooth sensitivity. People who grind their teeth (known as bruxism) usually experience sensitive teeth when eating certain foods or consuming hot/cold beverages. This is because grinding your teeth eventually wears down the enamel. The layer underneath the enamel is more sensitive, which means you’ll have sensitivity when drinking your hot cup of coffee or cold iced tea.

As you can see by the list above, there are many reasons why you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity when eating certain foods. But don’t worry; your dentist can help!

How to fix sensitive teeth

During your appointment, discuss sensitivity issues with your dentist. Your dentist will do a thorough examination and ask follow-up questions to determine the underlying cause of tooth sensitivity.

Depending on the underlying cause, the dentist may recommend fillings, crowns, implants, root canal therapy or other services. He or she may recommend using toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.

So what now?

If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, call your dentist. If you live in or near Alpharetta, GA, call Dr. Silverman at Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry.

In the meantime, visit our home dental care page to learn the proper techniques of brushing and flossing your teeth.

We look forward to meeting you and your family.




Posted by Advanced Cosmetic and Family Dentistry
4205 North Point Parkway, Building D, Alpharetta, GA 30022
Phone: 678.389.9000