Tooth sensitivity is a common problem that affects many people throughout the world. It is often a lifelong problem; however, it can also occur suddenly out of nowhere. If your teeth aren't normally sensitive, there might be an underlying cause for the sudden onset of pain and sensitivity.

So what might be causing your discomfort? Here are four reasons:

1. Teeth Grinding

Grinding or clenching your teeth may cause sensitivity. This is because grinding or clenching puts unnecessary pressure on your teeth, which can lead to enamel erosion. When your enamel is gone, the dentin is exposed. As you might expect, the dentin of your teeth are full nerves. Once the dentin is exposed, you might begin to notice sensitivity to hot or cold.

The best way to treat clenching or grinding is to be aware. If you notice that you are doing it, try your best to stop. If you grind your teeth at night, talk to your dentist about getting a mouth guard. This guard will help protect your teeth from the pressure of grinding while you are asleep.

2. Gum Disease

You might also begin to notice sudden sensitivity if you suffer from gum disease or gingivitis. When you have gum disease, the gums begin to pull back from your teeth. As the gums pull away, nerves are exposed. As you might expect, once the nerves are exposed you will begin to notice sensitivity or discomfort.

If you do have gum disease, you will need to be vigilant with your oral hygiene. In addition, you'll need to visit your dentist for treatment. You might need a prescription mouthwash or you may need to undergo surgery, depending on the severity of your gum disease.

3. Brushing Too Hard

Brushing too hard—or even too often—can have the same effect as grinding your teeth. The constant brushing or heavy pressure can cause the enamel on your teeth to disappear. Over time, this can cause discomfort as the dentin is exposed.

If you must brush hard, or often, switch to a soft bristled tooth brush. These tooth brushes are a lot more gentle on the teeth, which will allow you to brush with the same amount of pressure.

4. Recent Dental Work

Finally, you might also experience sudden sensitivity if you recently had dental work done. Dental work puts strain on your mouth and it often disturbs your teeth and nerves. Whether you had a simple cleaning or a more invasive root canal, expect to experience sensitivity afterwards. If the sensitivity or discomfort lasts longer than expected, talk to your dentist. You may need additional dental work or you might just need a fluoride treatment.

Sudden tooth sensitivity might seem a little odd, but there are many reasons for it to occur. If your sensitivity is extremely uncomfortable, talk to your dentist immediately. You might need to undergo treatment to fix the underlying cause.

Contact a dental office like Kraus & Associates Dentistry for more information.