6 Factors That Cause Sensitive Teeth in Children

You may have heard complaints from your child regarding tooth pains after eating hot and cold foods, or even while brushing their teeth. Tooth sensitivity can be described as an unpleasant stinging or tingling sensation in the teeth, and there are many factors that could be the culprits of your child’s sensitive teeth.

girl with toothache

1. Poor brushing habits

It’s important to establish proper brushing techniques from an early age, not only to prevent cavities but also to protect the gums and enamel. If your child brushes his/her teeth too hard, it could result in enamel and gum erosion, which makes their teeth more sensitive to hot and cold. To avoid this problem, teach your children how much pressure to apply as they brush their teeth with a soft toothbrush.

2. Cavities

If your child does not brush and floss his/her teeth often enough, then tooth decay begins to take effect, which will cause sensitivity and discomfort in your child’s teeth. To prevent this cause of tooth sensitivity, make sure your children brush their teeth at least twice a day for approximately two minutes.

3. Sinuses

Unfortunately, sinus infections can affect more than just the nose. If your child is prone to sinus problems, he/she may experience tooth sensitivity near the top of the mouth. This is due to the close proximity of the sinuses to the roof of the mouth. As sinus pressure builds, it can cause your child to feel pain as though the mouth is infected too. Your dentist should check to make sure this symptom isn’t an actual cavity or abscess.

4. Teeth Grinding

This is a severely bad habit that negatively affects your child’s dental health and is likely to cause tooth sensitivity. Excessive tooth grinding can cause hairline cracks in the teeth that cause mouth pain when your child bites down on something or chews food. Misaligned teeth can also contribute to these hairline cracks.

5. Fillings

More specifically, it is metal amalgam fillings that can cause unpleasant tooth sensitivity. This type of filling acts a shortcut that conducts heat faster than your child’s regular tooth enamel.  Since this type of filling is extremely sensitive to changes in temperature, it also causes teeth to expand and contract quickly, putting more pressure on the tooth nerve. This occurrence can also contribute to more hairline cracks in your child’s teeth.

6. Losing Baby Teeth

When your child begins losing more baby teeth and growing permanent ones, it won’t take much to make them feel sensitive and painful. The emergence of new teeth can be miserable on its own, but other factors such as hot and cold temperatures, food, and air can make painful contact as well.

If your child is experiencing tooth sensitivity, it is important to treat the affected teeth before the discomfort becomes too unbearable. This could lead to malnourishment if the child stops eating foods that cause them pain. Therefore, it’s important to discuss treatment options with your dentist to ensure that your child’s oral health is in pain-free condition!

Be sure to download our FREE downloadable checklist for your child's first dental visit and beyond! It's full of helpful information for you and your family.