Dental Blog

Why Do I Have Sensitive Teeth?

Why Do I Have Sensitive Teeth?

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sensitive teeth holland mi dentist

Do your teeth feel sensitive when you sip a cup of coffee or indulge in ice cream? If so, you’re not alone. More than 3 million people report having sensitive teeth each year in the United States.

In general, your teeth may feel more sensitive when you lose enamel. Enamel is the white, outer protective layer of your teeth. Once you lose enamel, it’s gone for good. That’s why it’s important that you practice good oral hygiene.

When you lose enamel, heat and cold are able to reach the nerves inside your tooth. This is what causes sensitivity to temperature fluctuations.

If your tooth sensitivity doesn’t go away after a day or two, schedule an appointment with our dentist.

In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about what causes sensitive teeth.

Not Brushing Your Teeth Properly

While it’s important to remove plaque from your teeth, make sure you aren’t brushing too hard.

Using too much force or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can wear down your tooth enamel. This will expose the dentin and increase your sensitivity over time.

To prevent tooth sensitivity, brush your teeth using gentle circular motions. If you’re worried about leaving behind dental plaque, be sure also floss and use a fluoride mouth rinse.

Eating and Drinking Too Much Sugar

It’s not uncommon for people to experience tooth sensitivity after eating a lot of sweets. The bacteria in your mouth love to eat any sugar left behind and produce acids that can erode tooth enamel.

If you plan on eating more sugary foods and drinks, don’t forget to brush and floss your teeth. The best way to prevent dental plaque buildup and tooth sensitivity is to eat a balanced diet.


Do you grind your teeth at night? Over time, teeth grinding can wear down your enamel and make your teeth more sensitive to hot and cold foods. You may also experience headaches, cracked teeth, and sleep disruption.

If you suspect you are grinding your teeth at night, please do not hesitate to contact our dentist. Dr. Habecker can create a custom night guard to provide a barrier between your upper and lower teeth.

Whitening Your Teeth Too Much

Professional teeth whitening can whiten your teeth by several shades. But you’ll need to consult with your dentist before scheduling a treatment.

Different people have different pain tolerances. This is why only some people experience sensitivity after teeth whitening.

Also, whitening your teeth too much can weaken the enamel over time. Avoid this common mistake and check out our blog post on the best way to whiten teeth.

Receding Gums

One of the symptoms of gum disease is receding gums, which is when your gums start to pull away from your teeth. When this happens, you may experience tooth sensitivity. This is because the gum has receded enough to expose the roots of your teeth. These tooth roots are sensitive to extreme temperatures.

The beginning stages of gingivitis can be reversed with good oral hygiene. But periodontitis is an irreversible condition.

To slow the damaging effects of periodontitis, our dentist may recommend scaling and root planing.

Request an Appointment With Us

It’s never a good idea to ignore dental pain and discomfort. That’s why we recommend you schedule an appointment with our dentist in Holland, MI. Dr. Habecker would be more than happy to help you restore your oral health.

To request an appointment, please call Macatawa Smiles at (616) 396-7524. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our office will reach out to you soon.


Dear Patient Family,

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for all of us. Many of you have been forced to wait for dental care and we appreciate your understanding while we kept our office closed to follow orders from the Governor's Office.

We are happy to say that we are opening our office for all patient treatment on June 1st, 2020. Our hours of operation will go back to normal, Monday-Thursday 8am - 5pm. We want you to know that there will be some changes at your next appointment. Please be patient with us as our protocols will inevitably change as new guidelines are released.

  • We ask that you use our parking lot as the waiting room.
  • Please wear a mask when you come into the office and leave it on until entering the treatment room. Homemade is acceptable.
  • Only the person receiving treatment should come in the building, all others will be asked to wait in the car if at all possible. The exception will be for our minor patients who may have one parent accompany them.
  • We will be asking you some questions when you arrive at the office and we will also be taking your temperature.
  • We will not be able to offer magazines, drinks, or toys at this time as they cannot be disinfected to our standards. Eventually this will change and we will be happy to offer our amenities once again.

These changes have been made to adhere to the latest CDC guidelines and for the benefit of our patients and our staff. We want you to know that our office has always taken the safety of our patients very seriously and that we will continue to follow the highest levels of sterilization and disinfection to keep you protected. If you would like more information on what measures we have taken we would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

We cannot say how excited we are to see all of our patients again and to provide for their dental needs. We look forward to seeing all of your smiling faces soon!

Dr. Habecker and Team