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Sensitive & Sore Teeth

Sensitive and sore teeth can be bothersome and affect your daily life. The good news is there are many solutions to fix your problem!

Tooth decay, fractured and chipped teeth, abscesses, receding gums and poor dental care can all contribute to sore and sensitive teeth. Teeth sensitivity can come and go. It’s usually best to visit your dentist to get checked out, before it develops or becomes harder to treat. Treatment options can include avoiding particular food and drinks, using a special toothpaste and toothbrush and specialized treatments such as fillings, root canals, crowns and tooth extractions.


Often, soreness and sensitivity is the first sign of a deeper problem. The pain may come and go, or gradually worsen. You may notice sharp pain when you chew or increased pain when you drink hot or cold liquids. Sweet and acidic foods can also trigger the sensitivity or soreness you’re experiencing.

Sometimes, simply breathing with your mouth open or going outside into the cold can make the sensitivity or pain worse. Sensitivity in your teeth can mean the inner dentine layer of your tooth is exposed. This happens when the tooth’s white outer layer of enamel has worn away.


Unprotected dentine is one of the biggest reasons you’ll experience tooth sensitivity. This can happen for a number of reasons. Common causes include tooth decay, receding gums, chips or cracks in your tooth and a buildup of plaque. Other causes can be:

  • Acidic food, drink or mouthwash
  • Bruxism, or grinding and clenching your teeth
  • Brushing your teeth too hard
  • Some tooth whitening products

Maintain regular visits to your Vancouver dentists and hygienist to help keep you on top of your oral health habits. Sometimes we can all do with a regular reminder about the best care routines for healthy teeth.


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Why are my teeth sore or sensitive?

There can be a number of reasons why you’re experiencing sensitive teeth. Most often, it’s because the dentine, or inner layer of your tooth, is exposed. This can be caused by brushing your teeth too hard, or eating and drinking too much hot, cold, acidic or sugary food and drinks. Sometimes it’s from a more serious problem with your teeth, such as tooth decay or gum disease. We recommend you book an appointment with your dentist to discuss the pain and sensitivity you’re experiencing.

How can I treat sensitive teeth?

As with most things, prevention is better than cure. Use a soft toothbrush and maintain regular, good dental habits at home to ensure optimal oral health. Reduce your intake of acidic and sugary food and drink. Switching to a special toothpaste for sensitive teeth can help to reduce the sensitivity or soreness you’re experiencing. However, this may only mask a bigger problem, as you may have an underlying issue with your teeth than needs attention. We recommend you visit your dentist to get it checked out.

Why are my teeth sore during spring?

It has been reported that there are more cases of sore and sensitive teeth during spring than other months of the year. Extra pollen and dust in the air at this time of year can cause hay fever and sinus problems, which can result in sore teeth and gums. Hay fever can inflame the sinus area and this can put pressure on your teeth. The pain can be so bad that people think they have a serious dental problem. It may come down to hay fever or your sinuses, but we do recommend visiting your dentist or GP to check it out.

I'm really anxious about visiting the dentist, what can I do?

We get it. For most people who are scared about visiting the dentist it’s because they’ve had a bad experience in the past. Relax. Our gentle and compassionate dentists understand how you feel. Whether you’re anxious or worried about experiencing more pain or the potential cost of the treatment, the best thing to do is to let us know how you feel. Making sure you feel comfortable is part of our job.

Can sensitive teeth be prevented?

Yes. You can greatly reduce your chances of developing sensitive teeth by taking good care of your oral health. That means a combination of at-home dental care and building a great relationship with your dentist.

We recommend daily healthy habits and regular visits to the dentist. For optimum oral health:

  • Practice good oral hygiene habits at home including brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day
  • Book hygiene visits with your dental hygienist at least  twice each year
  • Book routine exam and x-rays visits with your dentist once each year

We know that when you look after your oral health properly with regular preventative care, you’ll be less likely to need to see a dentist in an emergency. You’re also likely to spend less money at the dentist over time.

Book your appointment today!