Sensitive Teeth

Patient Education Resource

Chicago Dental Smiles serves these neighborhoods from our downtown Chicago dentist office: The Loop, Streeterville, River North, Near West Loop, Near South Loop, Lakeshore East, Gold Coast, Old Town and Lincoln Park.


Your downtown Chicago dentist, Mohit Joshi, DDS

Do you wince with pain after sipping what seems like a not-too-hot cup of coffee or chewing a piece of ice? Chances are that you suffer from “dentin hypersensitivity,” or more commonly, sensitive teeth.

Hot and cold temperature changes cause your teeth to expand and contract. As a result, over time, your teeth can develop microscopic cracks that allow these sensations to seep through to the nerves. Exposed areas of the tooth can cause pain and as a result, affect your eating, drinking and breathing habits.

In addition, at least 45 million adults in the United States suffer from sensitive teeth.

Sensitive teeth result when the underlying layer of your teeth (the dentin) becomes exposed. This can happen on the chewing surface of the tooth as well as at the gum line. In some cases, sensitive teeth are the result of gum disease, years of unconsciously clenching or grinding your teeth, or improper or too vigorous brushing (if the bristles of your toothbrush are pointing in multiple directions, you’re brushing too hard).

Abrasive toothpastes can sometimes be the culprit of tooth sensitivity because of their ingredients. The main ingredients found in some whitening toothpastes may increase tooth sensitivity.

Using a desensitizing toothpaste coupled with sealants or changes to diet consequently can alleviate pain with sensitive teeth.

Sometimes, sensitive teeth may also be confused by a patient for a cavity or abscess that is not yet visible, hence another reason why a frequent dental exam can be very beneficial to your overall oral health.

In conclusion, contact our team if you notice any change in your teeth’s sensitivity to temperature.