What Does Sensitivity Mean?

Oh no! You feel a quick jolt of discomfort in your tooth – what can it mean? Understandably, dealing with any type of sudden sensitivity can result in some serious concern. Your smile that you once paid little attention to (except for remembering to brush, floss, etc.) suddenly has you thinking something serious must be going on. Fortunately, when you’re dealing with minor to moderate sensitivity, it means something treatable is happening to your oral health. Allow us to provide some explanation.

Nerves May Be Exposed

When parts of your teeth that are generally covered up and protected are suddenly exposed, sensitivity may ensue. For instance, if you are brushing your teeth too hard or experiencing periodontal disease, your gum tissue may recede, exposing hidden tooth tissue. Or, if decay occurs, deeper layers of your teeth may be exposed, leading to discomfort. Fortunately, we can address and repair oral health issues like these with restorative treatment.

It May Be Irritation

Perhaps you are grinding your teeth or clenching them – something we refer to as bruxism – on a regular basis. This can wear teeth down a bit, place enormous pressure on them, and cause sensitivity. Or, you may simply be predisposed to some sensitivity, thanks to your genetic makeup! In these instances, we will again suggest you schedule time to speak with us about your oral health, receive an exam, and then follow recommendations for treatment (and often the use of desensitizing toothpaste).


Our team offers our patients and their family access to comprehensive dental care, including general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. To schedule an appointment with the Potach and Mitchell Dental Clinic, contact our Austin, MN dental office today by calling 507-437-6312. Our office welcomes patients from Austin, MN and surrounding communities.