Health Conditions That Can Cause Tooth Sensitivity

Posted on: 14 November 2019

If you have ever experienced tooth sensitivity from eating or drinking certain foods or drinks, then you may have said to yourself, "where's the nearest dentist?" Your dentist can recommend treatment options such as dietary interventions and special kinds of toothpaste formulated to strengthen your tooth enamel. While tooth sensitivity can be treated, a cause may never be determined. There are, however, certain health conditions that can raise your risk, such as the following.


In addition to brushing your teeth too hard, gum recession, gingivitis, and broken teeth, bruxism, or tooth grinding, can also promote tooth sensitivity. When you grind your teeth, you are wearing down your dental enamel. If your enamel becomes too weak or thin, you may be unable to eat or drink certain items because of severe sensitivity. This type of enamel damage is caused by mechanical wear and tear.

Conversely, acidic foods and drinks such as coffee and orange juice passively wear away at your tooth enamel, leading to a condition known as acid erosion. This condition also causes tooth sensitivity. If you have bruxism, your dentist may recommend that you use a mouth guard at night and suggest that you limit your consumption of acidic foods and drinks.

Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases can also wreak havoc with your dental enamel, leading to tooth sensitivity. Autoimmune diseases can cause salivary dysfunction, and when this happens, your salivary glands don't produce enough saliva. This causes dry mouth, which can put you at risk for gum recession and subsequent tooth sensitivity. 

If you suffer from a severe dry mouth that doesn't get better after drinking water, chewing gum, or sucking on hard candy, you may have an autoimmune disorder known as Sjogren's syndrome, especially if your dry mouth is accompanied by dry, gritty eyes.

Once your autoimmune disorder has been treated successfully by your endocrinologist, your symptoms, including dry mouth, may resolve. In the meantime, talk to your dentist about prescribing a moisturizing mouthwash that will help prevent your oral tissues from drying out, while helping to promote optimal salivary flow so that enamel-weakening acids are washed away. 

If you grind your teeth at night or if you have an autoimmune disease, see both your physician and dentist on a regular basis. Working with both of your healthcare professionals will help ensure that your autoimmune disorders are well-controlled and that your enamel stays strong and healthy so that you don't develop tooth sensitivity.

For more information, contact a dental clinic like Milner Dentistry.