Tooth sensitivity is a common dental problem that affects millions of people worldwide. It often manifests as a sudden, sharp pain when your teeth come into contact with something hot, cold, sweet, or very acidic. For many, this discomfort can be a minor nuisance, but for others, it can significantly impact their quality of life. At Alton Dental in Burlington, we understand how distressing tooth sensitivity can be, and we’re here to help you manage it effectively. In this blog post, we’ll explore the causes of tooth sensitivity, discuss available treatments, and provide tips for preventing it.


Tooth sensitivity, or dentin hypersensitivity, occurs when the enamel that protects our teeth gets thinner, or when gum recession occurs, exposing the underlying surface, the dentin. This exposes the nerve endings to external stimuli, resulting in pain. Several factors can contribute to tooth sensitivity, including:

  1. Brushing Too Hard: Sometimes, tooth sensitivity comes from brushing with too much force or using a hard-bristled toothbrush. Over time, this can wear down the enamel and expose the dentin.
  2. Diet: Frequent consumption of highly acidic foods and beverages, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, pickles, and soft drinks can cause enamel erosion and dentin exposure.
  3. Gum Disease: Inflamed and sore gum tissue can result in the loss of supporting ligaments, exposing the root surface to elements that can cause sensitivity.
  4. Tooth Decay Near the Gum Line: This is also a common cause of sensitivity.
  5. Teeth Grinding: Grinding or clenching your teeth can wear down the enamel.
  6. Tooth Whitening Products: Some people have sensitive teeth after using products or treatments for whitening teeth.
  7. Excessive Plaque: The build-up of plaque can cause enamel erosion.
  8. Dental Procedures: Sensitivity after procedures such as fillings, crown replacement, or tooth restoration is common but usually temporary.


Managing tooth sensitivity involves several treatment options, depending on the cause. At Alton Dental, we assess the root cause of your sensitivity to provide the most effective treatment. Here are some common treatments:

  1. Desensitizing Toothpaste: These toothpastes contain compounds that help block transmission of sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve, and they typically require several applications before the sensitivity is reduced.
  2. Fluoride Gel: Applied in-office, fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and reduces the transmission of sensations.
  3. A Dental Sealant: This is applied to the sensitive areas of the teeth to shield them from external factors that might trigger pain.
  4. Surgical Gum Graft: If gum tissue has been lost from the root, this will protect the root and reduce sensitivity.
  5. Root Canal Treatment: If sensitivity is severe and persistent and cannot be treated by other means, your dentist might recommend this treatment to eliminate the problem.


Preventing tooth sensitivity starts with understanding what might be causing it. Here are some tips to help you prevent sensitivity:

  1. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing regularly helps to remove plaque that forms on your teeth and can lead to enamel wear.
  2. Watch Your Diet: Limit the intake of acidic foods and drinks like soda, high-sugar carbs, and citrus fruits. If you do consume them, try to brush your teeth afterward to clear the acid, or at least rinse your mouth with water.
  3. Use the Right Toothpaste: Aside from desensitizing toothpaste, avoid tooth-whitening toothpaste, which often contains harsh chemicals that can cause sensitivity.
  4. Wear a Mouth Guard: If you grind your teeth, consider getting a mouth guard to protect your teeth from wear and tear.
  5. Visit Your Dentist Regularly: Regular check-ups allow your dentist to detect early signs of conditions that might lead to sensitivity, such as gum disease, receding gums, or tooth decay.


Tooth sensitivity is treatable, and you don’t have to suffer in silence. At Alton Dental, we are committed to diagnosing the cause of your sensitivity and providing tailored treatments to address your specific needs. Whether it’s modifying your oral hygiene practices, changing your dietary habits, or providing professional treatments, we’re here to help alleviate your discomfort and improve your oral health.

If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, don’t wait for your next routine checkup. Contact Alton Dental today to schedule an appointment. Let us help you find relief and get back to enjoying your life without the pain of sensitive teeth. Your comfort and health are our top priorities, and we have the expertise and treatments necessary to care for your teeth effectively.