Teeth Sensitive After Cleaning: Why it Happens and What To Do

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Tooth sensitivity is a frequent condition where you can experience discomfort and pain while eating or drinking.

Teeth Sensitive After Cleaning

Many people experience this tooth sensitivity after a dental cleaning and wonder why they have sensitive teeth.

In this article, we will talk about what is causing this phenomenon, how to identify it, and how to prevent it. 

What Causes Teeth Sensitivity After Cleaning?

Tooth enamel is a crucial, rigid structure that protects your tooth crown from multiple stimuli in your mouth. It is the most exterior and sturdy layer of your tooth and is responsible for receiving all your chewing forces. 

Although it is the most mineralized tissue in the human body, it is susceptible to many damages and wear throughout your life. As a result of this wear down, the underneath layer of your teeth, the dentin, can get exposed, making you experience sensitive teeth.

Every mechanical or chemical action that exposes your dentin, such as enamel erosion and abrasion, can cause sensitivity and affect your oral health. Acidic foods and drinks also wear down your enamel with similar consequences.

Gum Recession and Exposed Tooth Roots: Similarly to your enamel’s protective function, your gums also serve as a defensive layer for your roots.

When you have gum disease or brush aggressively, your gum line goes down, exposing your roots and causing pain. Also, your gum may swell up and get sensitive to temperature changes and certain foods and drinks.

Dental Procedures and Cleaning Techniques: A dental deep cleaning removes plaque and tartar from your teeth.

However, during this cleaning process, your dental hygienist might remove an artificial protective coating, exposing sensitive areas, especially if you have gum recession or a thin enamel layer. Usually, your dentist may merely expose an underlying oral problem masked by tartar and inflamed gums. 

Identifying the Symptoms of Teeth Sensitivity

Unlike other oral conditions that cause sudden dental pain, tooth sensitivity is temporary. It occurs only after determinate procedures and triggers if the conditions are appropriate.

Symptoms of Teeth Sensitivity

Therefore, you might experience sensibility a few days after your dentist or dental hygienist performs a routine dental cleaning or a teeth whitening

Sensitivity to Hot or Cold Temperatures: When your teeth feel sensitive after cleaning, the symptoms start with temperature changes.

Hot and cold foods and drinks trigger a pain response in the surface of your teeth, inducing a sudden and acute pain that disappears right after you remove the cause. 

Discomfort When Brushing or Flossing: Your dental care routine should be painless and comfortable. However, when you experience temporary sensitivity after regular teeth cleaning, you might encounter mild discomfort when you brush certain areas of your teeth.

Flossing stimulates the gums between your teeth, and brushing your teeth leaves them a bit more sensitive. 

Pain When Consuming Sweet or Acidic Foods: Your teeth and gums are also sensitive to certain foods. Sweet and acidic foods and drinks, like cold or hot meals, overstimulate your teeth’ dentin. Moreover, acids from these foods exacerbate sensitivity and affect the nerves in your teeth. 

Strategies for Managing Teeth Sensitivity After Cleaning

Using Desensitizing Toothpaste: It is wise to use the appropriate dental tools if your teeth are sensitive after a dental cleaning.

Toothpaste sensitive Teeth

Most inadequate dental habits can make teeth sensitive or cause more complex dental problems in the future. Therefore, your dentist may indicate a specialized toothpaste for sensitive teeth with fluoride or potassium nitrate. 

Avoiding Acidic Foods and Beverages: These meals and drinks are directly responsible for sensitivity after cleaning. They cause enamel erosion and gums and teeth inflammation due to constant exposure. Therefore, your dentist could also suggest a slight change in your diet to prevent experiencing sensitivity. 

Using a Soft Bristled Toothbrush: Your brushing technique is crucial in causing or preventing sensitive teeth after cleaning. Most enamel erosion and gum recessions are caused by aggressive brushing with a hard-bristle toothbrush. Therefore, you should use toothpaste for sensitive teeth and brush your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristle brush.

Preventing Teeth Sensitivity After Cleaning

Regular Dental Checkups: Frequent dental visits are essential to prevent and identify the most common oral problems. They provide an excellent environment for oral health advice and address early conditions such as enamel wear and harmful habits.

Proper Oral Hygiene Practices: A great oral hygiene routine is crucial to avoid oral diseases and prevent further complications. Brush your teeth carefully and use the appropriate technique, toothbrush, and toothpaste. Additionally, use dental floss, xylitol chewing gum, and mouthwash to aid your brushing technique.

Professional Dental Treatments for Sensitivity: Your dentist may offer a local fluoride gel application .


Fluoride is an excellent treatment alternative to prevent and treat dental hypersensitivity. Whether it be due to dental procedures or enamel erosion and abrasion.

When to Seek Professional Help for Teeth Sensitivity

Signs of Underlying Dental Issues

Untreated sensibility can turn into more severe and complex oral problems. Be careful with exposed roots, teeth grinding overnight, and high acidic food intake, as they can induce other oral issues over time.

Persistent or Severe Sensitivity

Usually, teeth sensitivity lasts a few days or two to three weeks at most. Therefore, persistent and chronic sensitivity pain is not normal and requires immediate dental intervention.

Also, severe pain that worsens overnight or when you lie down indicates problems with your dental pulp, requiring other treatments such as root canals or extractions.


Teeth sensitivity can be a surprise after a dental procedure. Although tooth sensitivity usually disappears quickly, it can represent a challenge for prolonged periods, affecting your daily tasks and general quality of life. 

Taking control of your dental health and maintaining excellent oral hygiene is essential to prevent the most frequent causes of sensitivity and their usual consequences. Remember to attend your routine dental visits and seek professional advice when you notice any previous symptoms. 

Your brushing technique is crucial in causing or preventing sensitive teeth after cleaning. Most enamel erosion and gum recessions are caused by aggressive brushing with a hard-bristle toothbrush. Therefore, you should use toothpaste for sensitive teeth and brush your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristle brush.

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