Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth are fairly common, and they occur due to several reasons. It could be sensitive because of how they were formed, trauma, grinding and clenching the teeth, or an infection. A diet full of acidic food and drinks can also cause your teeth to become sensitive.

A sensitive tooth is a tooth that is painful when you drink cold liquids or eat ice cream or sweets. The pain can be described as a slight throbbing sensation, which can sometimes radiate down the jaw and surrounding gums. 

Tooth sensitivity may also be accompanied by a slightly swollen gum line or bluish discoloration of the gums. This condition may be due to a receding gum line that exposes the root of the tooth or the onset of periodontal disease, so you should seek immediate treatment.

If you have just one sensitive tooth, it may be due to decay or an exposed root tip. If your sensitivity occurs on the inside of your mouth, it could be due to a periodontal abscess, which occurs when an infection in the gum spreads to the bone beneath. This condition is considered severe and should be treated immediately.

Tooth sensitivity could also be an indicator of developing oral cancer. You should visit your dentist for regular checkups to quickly identify and treat any abnormalities in time. 


The discomfort caused by sensitive teeth is mainly due to tooth decay, which exposes the sensitive dentin underneath and makes your teeth more susceptible to injury. 

Another major cause of sensitive teeth is gingivitis, caused by the accumulation of plaque on the teeth. Gingivitis could lead to gum infections, resulting in swelling and redness, which will make your teeth more sensitive. 

When you consume certain foods, your teeth may become more sensitive. Other causes of sensitivity include grinding and clenching, clenching your jaw, or using too acidic or abrasive mouthwashes. 


There are numerous ways to treat sensitive teeth. Smokers may benefit from wearing a nightguard that keeps their teeth apart. These guards are helpful for people who grind their teeth at night or have open bites during sleep. Some patients have found success in changing their toothbrushes to softer bristles to reduce sensitivity.

Also, patients may find relief in using fluoride-based toothpaste, which reduces sensitivity significantly. These products contain potassium nitrate, relieving tooth sensitivity and pain by protecting exposed nerves. It also helps repair damage to the enamel caused by decay or acid erosion that has already occurred. 

If you have experienced sensitivity due to a deeper cavity or gum disease, we will also treat you with the in-house CEREC system that allows us to produce customized restorations in just one visit. These restorations will fit seamlessly into your smile and give you long-lasting results without further sensitivity-inducing problems. 

To know more about sensitive teeth, visit us at Helena, MT, or call us at (406) 443-6160 to schedule an appointment with the dentist and we will be happy to help.