What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

Do your teeth hurt when you brush or floss? Are your teeth sensitive to cold foods or beverages? Tooth sensitivity is a common but highly painful dental concern that can also lead to tooth wear and damage. Overly sensitive teeth can also prevent patients from eating or drinking the foods and beverages they enjoy. Treat your sensitive teeth in Bethesda, MD. Our dentists can help find the cause of your toothaches or tooth sensitivity as well as discover the right treatment for your needs.

Treat Sensitive Teeth in Bethesda, Maryland

Sensitive Teeth: Causes and Treatment in Bethesda, MD

There are multiple reasons why patients may have sensitive teeth. Learn how we treat these causes in our dental office:

Dental Injuries

If you have a chipped or broken tooth, you may be prone to tooth sensitivity. In addition, some injuries can expose the dentin or underlayer or even nerves within the tooth. We offer porcelain veneers, tooth crowns, and dental bonding treatment to address tooth injuries. Veneers cover the front of the enamel with thin porcelain ceramic shells. Tooth bonding treatment uses a biocompatible resin to cover chips, cracks, and breaks in the enamel.

Teeth Clenching and Grinding

Bruxism, or teeth clenching and grinding, is a common symptom of TMD. Temporomandibular joint disorders create pain in the face, jaw, and even teeth. Teeth clenching and grinding are just one of the signs of a TMJ disorder. Patients may also not realize they have bruxism if it happens when they are sleeping. Bruxism often wears down the tooth enamel and can lead to dental erosion. Wearing a nightguard during sleep can stop tooth wear and sensitivity caused by bruxism. Nightguards also alleviate pressure on the jaw, teeth, and face.


Dental cavities are pits or holes in the tooth enamel created by harmful bacteria that feed on food debris left in the mouth. Patients who do not brush or floss thoroughly or have crooked teeth that are difficult to clean may be more prone to cavities. A root canal treatment is the best option to remove bacteria from within a tooth and fill a cavity. A dentist makes a small hole in the tooth during this treatment and removes the decayed nerves, blood vessels, and cells. Then, they clean the tooth chamber and fill the cavity with a dental filling.

Gum Disease

Like dental infections, gum disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth. Harmful bacteria build upon and eat away at the gum tissue. Patients with signs of gum disease may also have gum and tooth sensitivity. At routine appointments, we will look for signs of gum disease and inflammation. We can also perform deep cleaning treatments that remove plaque and tartar buildup. Plaque is a bacterial film that can become more difficult to remove if it hardens. Our team uses specialized tools to clean bacteria from the teeth and gums.

Schedule a dental consultation with the team at Bethesda Family Smiles online. You can also call our office today at 301.500.2205. We welcome any questions or concerns that you may have about your dental care.