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What Is Causing My Tooth Sensitivity?

Brunette woman wearing a yellow blouse touches her cheeks in pain due to tooth sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is a common condition that may affect up to 1 in every 8 Americans. While the condition can occur at any time, winter weather can cause more folks to notice their tooth sensitivity. Chilly winter winds can not only make your teeth chatter, they can also produce a sharp pain as cold air hits sensitive teeth.

Sensitive teeth are caused by several factors, but today our Queensboro Plaza Dental Care team wants to focus on two of the most common: damaged enamel and receding gums, which both expose the sensitive inner layers of your teeth.

Damaged Tooth Enamel

While the protective enamel that covers your teeth is the hardest surface in your body, it can be damaged. Although weakened enamel cannot regrow, it can be strengthened. Dr. Nguyen may recommend a fluoride mouthwash, fluoride varnish, or fluoridated toothpaste to help fortify enamel through a process called remineralization. Diet, oral hygiene, and teeth grinding (bruxism) are often the culprits behind enamel damage.


A diet high in tooth-damaging foods and drinks (such as those high in acid and/or added sugar, like coffee, citrus, tomatoes, candy, white bread, soda, sports drinks, wine, potato chips, etc.) can lead to weakened enamel over time.

Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene allows bad bacteria in your mouth to build up, irritate your gums, and produce acidic byproducts as they digest your dietary sugar that dissolves enamel.


Nighttime teeth grinding and clenching can also wear down your enamel, so it’s best to get a custom-fitted nightguard to protect your teeth.

Receding Gums & Gum Disease

Gums can recede for a few reasons, but there’s one thing that has a huge impact on gum recession: brushing your teeth. If you gently brush your teeth correctly (twice a day for two minutes each time) and floss daily, you’re well on your way to limiting the buildup of bad bacteria that can cause gums to become inflamed and infected.

On the other hand, some patients brush so vigorously that they irritate their gums, which can cause them to recede. To avoid irritating your gums, use a soft-bristled brush and brush your teeth gently for the full two minutes. Brush using small gentle circles instead of an aggressive saw-like pattern. If you struggle with applying a safe amount of pressure, consider investing in an electric toothbrush with a pressure sensor and internal timer to make brushing a bit easier.

Consult with Our Expert Team!

Although damaged enamel and receding gums are some of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity, other causes are possible. The only way to know for certain is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nguyen. To ask our team any questions or schedule an appointment, contact our dental office in Long Island City today.

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Patient Reviews

Karoline PammerKaroline Pammer
20:52 30 Mar 22
Dr. Nguyen and his staff are extremely competent, friendly and professional. He is very thorough and explains everything very clearly. Finally I feel like I am in good hands when it comes to dental care.
Matt SmithMatt Smith
21:18 05 Feb 22
Great overall experience getting a dental cleaning. Very friendly staff, beautifully designed office, and a comfortable experience watching calming Netflix nature programming while in the chair. Complimentary beverages are in the waiting room and so is a little play area for kids.It felt to me that this was a patient-focused family practice as opposed to a cold, corporate dental mill trying to churn through as many patients as possible.I’ll definitely be coming back here for all my dental needs and I highly recommend.
Sundup SherpaSundup Sherpa
22:07 02 Feb 22
Dr. Nguyen and his staff are very welcoming and they provide an excellent experience every time I visit. I’ve only been here twice for annual checkups but would definitely consider and recommend this place to anyone who appreciates good customer experience and a very thoughtful approach to making sure that you feel at home. I have some procedures set up for later in the month and I must actually be the only person in the world actually looking forward to a dentist appointment.
Jayrockem GottemJayrockem Gottem
21:27 09 Nov 21
Great place wonderful staff they will be my go too dentist 100%
shawaf alishawaf ali
22:08 26 Aug 21
Very confident after leaving the office that my teeth are in greatttt hands. Above and beyond patient care. Very informative visits. A sense that they genuinely care about patient concerns. Added helpful guidelines I took home with me to reach dental hygiene goals before my next visits. Highly recommended you leave your old scary dentist ! 😁😁
Queensboro Plaza Dental Care

Queensboro Plaza Dental Care