Tips to stop tooth sensitivity before it starts

If you are starting to have issues with cold drinks or ice cream causing tooth pain, you have tooth sensitivity—and don’t worry, you’re not alone. This is a common condition that affects millions of people every day, and it’s easily treated–but if you fail to treat it, it could become a lasting pain that forces you to avoid some of your favourite foods.

What is Tooth Sensitivity and What Causes It?

Tooth sensitivity is when you experience pain—could be mild, moderate or severe—upon consuming something cold. You can also experience it when brushing or flossing, which could lead to avoiding them altogether which can create huge health complications.

It’s caused by a variety of factors, and getting to the root of why you’re experiencing it is the first step in prevention. A wide variety of issues could be the cause, including acidic foods, grinding your teeth, whitening products, chemicals in mouthwash, brushing too hard, and decay around fillings.

Take stock of your habits and you’ll find you’re probably doing at least one of these things regularly.

When Is Tooth Sensitivity a Sign of a Bigger Problem?

Gum Disease

You can start to experience tooth sensitivity when the real problem is gum disease. If your dental hygiene isn’t as stringent as it could be, and you’ve been avoiding the dentist for some time–this can lead to gum disease, and gum disease infects and inflames your gums, eventually leading to gum tissue damage. Once your gums start to recede the nerve endings can become exposed, leading to pain and sensitivity.


GERD, or acid reflux, can mean that your teeth are regularly exposed to stomach acid which wears away at the enamel, leaving the dentin exposed. If you suffer from acid issues, avoiding acidic foods will not only help reduce your tooth sensitivity but also help curb the reflux.

Tooth Decay

Like gum disease, tooth decay can create tooth sensitivity. It’s important to have regular dental checkups to ensure any decay issues are dealt with before becoming a bigger issue. If you are experiencing sensitivity in a particular tooth your dentist will take x-rays and if the issue is found to be decay they can solve it with a filling or a crown–which should stop the pain moving forward.


An abscess is when the pulp of your tooth becomes infected. Symptoms of infection include facial swelling, fever, pain and a particularly bad taste in your mouth periodically when the pus-filled root tip drains. If you have an abscess the only way to save the tooth is with a root canal.


Cracked Tooth

A cracked tooth can be tricky to diagnose because it can sometimes be so small it doesn’t register on x-rays, but a telltale sign is pain when you bite down that disappears when you release the bite. If the crack is because of a filling, replacing the filling can often solve the issue, but if it is a crack that goes below the gumline into the root of the tooth, it will need to be removed.

How to Prevent Tooth Sensitivity

Prevent Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding wears away at the enamel, exposing dentin which creates sensitivity. If you grind your teeth in your sleep, consider wearing a mouth guard to protect your teeth while you sleep. This can quickly solve the issue, or prevent it from getting worse.

Avoid Cold and Acidic Foods

Avoiding acid will do wonders for keeping your enamel intact, therefore preventing sensitivity. Acidic foods are known for wearing away at your teeth, so avoiding them or limiting consumption can go a long way. While cold foods can be hard to avoid, giving your teeth a break while they heal will help you avoid the pain.

Use a Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive toothpastes are built to help with this specific issue. If you’ve already experienced sensitivity, these toothpastes can help rebuild your enamel and help cure the issue. If you haven’t experienced sensitivity, using this toothpaste now can strengthen your enamel and ensure you won’t suffer from this pain in the future.

Take Good Care of Your Oral Health

The key to all dental issues is good oral health. Brush and floss daily–and if you want to be really vigilant–after every meal. But be sure to use a soft toothbrush that won’t wear away at your enamel and a toothpaste that doesn’t create sensitivity like whitening options. And while mouthwash can be useful in a pinch, it’s always better to brush and floss as some chemicals in mouthwash can actually create tooth sensitivity.

Talk to Your Dentist

If you’re suffering from sensitivity, your dentist will be able to easily look at your teeth and see where the issue may lie. They should always be your first resource when dealing with any tooth issues.


At the end of the day, tooth sensitivity might seem like more of a nuisance than a big deal, but it can be a sign of tooth complications that you’ll what to have ruled out if you’re ever going to be free of this pain, so see your dentist as soon as you can if you’re suffering.