The sudden onset of sensitivity in one’s teeth can be caused by several uniquely different issues.

Causes of Sudden Onset of

Tooth Sensitivity

“Sudden onset pain or sensitivity could be caused by undiagnosed decay which is now jeopardizing the nerve in the tooth,” begins Laurence (Larry) Grayhills, DMD, MS, MAGD, member of the Academy of General Dentistry.

Dr. Grayhills also says that “a crack which has developed in the tooth” could also cause sensitivity to come on all of a sudden, “or possibly an acid erosion (from diet, bulimia or GERD) which has removed some of the protective layers of the teeth.”

Bulimia nervosa is the deliberate purging (self-induced vomiting) of food to avoid absorbing the calories. Vomitus, which comes from the stomach, contains acid. When a person upchucks, the vomitus makes contact with their teeth and gums.

Refluxed acid can actually make its way to the mouth, even though one may not feel any heartburn or stomach burn. This is because sometimes, the acid refluxes too quickly to settle long enough in the esophagus to cause stomach or chest burning.

If you have sudden or even gradual onset of sensitivity about your teeth that does not resolve in a few days (aggressive flossing or brushing can also be a cause), you should see a dentist rather than try to tolerate the discomfort.