Sensitive Teeth: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention & Teeth Whitening Tips

The ADA estimates that around 40 million people in the U.S. suffer from mild to chronic tooth sensitivity. Dedicated to dental health and safe teeth whitening, we are pleased to provide an overview of the symptoms, causes and preventive measures for those suffering from sensitive teeth.


Symptoms of Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity has many symptoms including pain and discomfort in the mouth that occurs when teeth are exposed to sweet, sour or acidic foods (such as lollipops or lemons, etc.) hot and/or cold temperature (ice cream, inhaling cold air, or hot coffee, etc.).

A common misconception is that sensitive teeth become painful only when eating hot, cold, sweet or sour foods. However, if the tooth is sensitive to cold, discomfort will occur when cold air is inhaled-in addition to other activities such as drinking iced beverages.


Sensitivity in the tooth may also be vulnerable to pressure or touch-as some may find it painful to brush or floss their teeth, for example.

It is important to note that in many cases, sensitive teeth is caused and accompanied by receding gums.


Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is caused by erosion of the enamel protecting the teeth.

This exposes the dentin (underlying) layer of the teeth to catalysts such as sugar, acid and hot/cold temperatures. Beneath the dentin layer lies the tooth roots-which connect the nerve center, the exposure of the dentin layer, lacking protective enamel, causes the pain and discomfort known as tooth sensitivity.

Additionally tooth sensitivity after a filling is quite common, due to the nerves being disrupted. However, this sensitivity shouldn't last longer than two weeks.


Tooth Sensitivity and Teeth Whitening Products/Procedures

Most at-home teeth whitening products contain harmful abrasives such as silica, which may erode tooth enamel and trigger sensitivity (in addition to gum irritation and receding gums). Other harmful ingredients include: polyethylene, sodium hydroxide, propylene glycol, and ammonium hydroxide.


A Safe and Healthy Alternative for Whitening Sensitive Teeth

If you have sensitive teeth, there are safe teeth whitening options available for you. The Supersmile Professional Whitening System and teeth whitening products are specifically formulated to safely whiten teeth without irritation.

Our proprietary ingredient, Calprox, gently dissolves the protein pellicle where plaque, bacteria and stains adhere; safely lifting stains without scratching, damaging or eroding tooth enamel. Unlike other whitening systems, our professional whitening products include ingredients (phosphates, calcium and magnesium) that strengthen tooth enamel through the process of re-mineralization.


Preventing Tooth Sensitivity

The #1 preventive measure to take to avoid tooth sensitivity is practicing good oral hygiene. Scheduling regular dental visits, brushing teeth correctly with a soft-bristled toothbrush twice daily, flossing and rinsing appropriately to remove plaque is essential.

In addition, brushing with safe products such a fluoridated toothpaste and chewing sugar-free gum with Xylitol is also recommended. Avoiding habits of clenching or grinding teeth can also help prevent tooth sensitivity.