Sudden Tooth Sensitivity

Published on July 11th, 2017

Our teeth can obviously tell the difference between hot and cold foods and beverages, but if there is a sudden change in the way your teeth react to various temperatures, this may be of bigger concern. If your teeth become very sensitive or you start to experience a sharp pain when you bite into something hot or cold, its often due to an underlying issue in your mouth that needs to be checked out by a dentist. There are a few oral health issues that could be causing this problem:


Small cracks in your teeth, called fissures, can often expose sensitive nerves and increase the risk of cavities. Sometimes, sensitivity to hot and cold can be one of the warning signs that a cavity is forming. The fillings that repair these cavities can fall out as well and cause the area where the cavity was removed to become extra sensitive.

Receding Gums

Underneath the enamel on our teeth, there is also a layer of dentin – a sensitive material that contains tiny tubes. If our gums begin to recede, the dentin becomes exposed and makes our teeth feel hypersensitive. Receding gums can even be painful at times and are usually a side effect of gingivitis or gum disease.

Enamel Erosion

All of our teeth are covered in enamel and this is what protects our teeth from the hard, sticky, hot, and cold food and beverages that interact with our teeth on a daily basis. As this enamel wears down, it exposes the sensitive nerves in our teeth and impacts the way they react to different temperatures.

Tooth Decay

Sudden sensitivity can also be the result of a deep infection in one or more of your teeth that will eventually lead to decay. If the tooth sensitivity lasts more than 30 seconds after you bite into or sip on something, your dentist may suggest a root canal to clear out this infection.


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