We may encourage people to be sensitive but it is not a characteristic we want our teeth to emulate. Having sensitive teeth can cause discomfort or pain during certain activities such as eating or brushing your teeth. The main cause of this problem is normally worn tooth enamel, an exposed tooth root or teeth grinding. Your tooth enamel is the outermost layer of the tooth and protects your teeth. Once tooth enamel is worn down it cannot be rebuilt. However, it can be prevented from becoming even worse or ever happening at all. For prevention, pay attention to to the acidic foods and drinks such as carbonated drinks or citrus fruits that you are consuming. These acidic items can remove small amount of tooth enamel over time. Choose to drink acidic beverages through a straw to lessen the contact with your teeth and drink water after eating acidic foods to balance the acid levels in your mouth. An exposed tooth root is as bad as it sounds. Your tooth roots are normally protected by your gums. But your gums can be pushed back because of various reasons. In fact, brushing your teeth with a hard bristled toothbrush and some serious elbow grease might do more damage than good. Note: Brushing your teeth harder doesn’t make them cleaner. Sometimes misaligned teeth exposes the nerve of the tooth root. In addition, smoking or tobacco use can cause your gums to recede. There are many possible reasons, more than you’d imagine that you might grind your teeth at night. Research has found that 70% of people grind their teeth because of stress and/or anxiety. Evaluate your current lifestyle and see if there are changes that need to be made in order to alleviate some tension. In the end if you know that you grind your teeth at night talk to your doctor about getting a mouth guard. Those teeth need protection! There are many reasons why your teeth may be feeling sensitive. With that in mind, it is important to talk to your dentist first before jumping to any conclusions. A cavity, chipped tooth and even gum disease can cause similar discomfort when you eat or brush your teeth.