What Deficiency Causes Sensitive Teeth?

Sensitive teeth, a condition known as dentin hypersensitivity, can be caused by several factors, including:

  • Exposed Dentin: Dentin is the layer of the tooth beneath the enamel. When the enamel on the tooth’s surface wears down or becomes thin, the dentin can become exposed. This can happen due to:
    • Toothbrush Abrasion: Brushing teeth too aggressively with a hard-bristle toothbrush or abrasive toothpaste can wear down enamel over time.
    • Tooth Grinding (Bruxism): Habitual teeth grinding can wear away enamel and expose dentin.
    • Acidic Foods and Drinks: Frequent consumption of acidic foods and beverages can erode enamel.
  • Gum Recession: Receding gums can expose the roots of the teeth, which are not covered by enamel and are naturally sensitive to temperature and pressure.
  • Tooth Decay: Cavities or tooth decay can damage the enamel and expose the underlying dentin, leading to sensitivity.
  • Dental Procedures: Some dental procedures, such as tooth whitening, dental cleanings, or the placement of fillings or crowns, can cause temporary tooth sensitivity.
  • Cracked Teeth: Cracked or fractured teeth can expose dentin, making the tooth sensitive to temperature changes and pressure.
  • Age: As people age, the enamel on their teeth naturally wears down, increasing the likelihood of tooth sensitivity.
  • Acid Reflux: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or frequent acid reflux can introduce stomach acid into the mouth, which can erode enamel and cause tooth sensitivity.
  • Certain Medications: Some medications, such as antihypertensives, can cause dry mouth (xerostomia), reducing saliva production. Saliva helps protect teeth, and a lack of it can contribute to sensitivity.
  • Nutritional Deficiencies: While not a common cause, severe nutritional deficiencies can impact oral health, including tooth enamel. For example, a deficiency in vitamin D or calcium, both important for maintaining strong teeth and bones, could potentially contribute to tooth sensitivity if left untreated over an extended period.

It’s important to note that while nutritional deficiencies can have an impact on overall oral health, they are not typically the primary cause of tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity is more commonly associated with factors like enamel erosion, gum recession, or dental procedures.

If you’re experiencing persistent tooth sensitivity, it’s essential to consult with a dentist to identify the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment. Treatment may include desensitizing toothpaste, fluoride treatments, dental bonding, or other procedures to address the specific issue causing sensitivity and to provide relief. Additionally, your dentist can offer guidance on proper oral care practices to help protect your teeth from further sensitivity.